Today, is National Hot Dog Day! The Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year! Hot dogs are probably the most popular summer food in the United States due to its taste, affordable price, and ease of preparation. With classic condiments garnished on top— such as ketchup, mustard, relish, sauerkraut, and onions—you are destined for a great treat. It’s no wonder why consumers across the world enjoy them so much.
So, when were hot dogs created? It’s believed by historians that the “hot dog” can be traced all the way back to Roman emperor Nero. As the story goes, one of Nero’s chefs stuffed the casings (cleaned intestines) of pigs with seasoned meat, thus creating the first known sausage. Nero supposedly loved the new delicacy. In time, the sausage spread throughout the rest of Europe. Germans created their own version of this sausage, complementing it with beer and sauerkraut.
Nathan Handwerker was one savvy merchant who was responsible for growing the sales of what eventually became known as the hot dog in the United States. While working at a hot dog stand on Coney Island, Nathan dealt with hot dogs 24/7. From his never-ending work ethic, the iconic brand “Nathan’s Famous” was born.
The term “hot dog” is believed to be from vendors shouting, “They’re red hot!” during a cold spring day on Coney Island. Others claim that the term came into being at Yale where hot dogs were sold in dog wagons. Calling them hot dogs was a mocking comment on the meat. Also, due to the small size of the meat, the Germans would call it a “little dog” or “dachshund sausage”. No matter where it may have originated, the name has stuck.
Coney Island remains a landmark for hot dogs with the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th. There, competitors have just 10 minutes to devour as many hot dogs and buns as possible! This competition has been around since 1916; something Handwerker would have surely been proud of.
Consider Quaker Valley Foods as your hot dog supplier. We offer such high-quality brands as Hatfield, Stahl-Meyer, and Bar-S. Click on any of the images below to be directed to each vendor’s website. Look through our website to see how we can enhance your hot dog experience. We not only offer a wide variety of hotdogs, but we offer a wide assortment of beef, pork, chicken, deli and seafood products that taste delicious when prepared on your grill!