National Hot Dog Day

On July 17, 2019, Americans will celebrate National Hot Dog Day, although National Hot Dog month extends throughout July. The hot dog is one of the most iconic American foods, along with apple pie.

Sausage was developed in 13th century Germany and brought to the U.S. in the 1800s. At the same time Germans brought sausages, they also brought dachshund dogs, so the term hot dog may be a joke about German’s thin dogs that casually transferred to sausages. This was probably reinforced by the fact that many Germans called these dogs ‘little sausages.’

Street vendors in New York City and St. Louis sold hot dogs in buns in the 1860’s. In 1893 Chris Von de Ahe brought baseball and hot dogs together selling them at St. Louis Browns games (now the St. Louis Cardinals.) The Colombian Exposition in Chicago also began selling hot dogs. In both locations they became an instant hit.

The longest hot dog was first made in Paraguay at 669 feet. Later Flensburg, Germany claimed to have manufactured the world’s largest dog at 715 feet. Twenty-six million hot dogs are eaten each year at baseball stadiums. Mustard is the condiment of choice, yet many areas of the country make hot dogs with other ingredients piled on top, making it the local choice.

  • The New York Dog has spicy brown mustard and either sauerkraut or sautéed onions on top.
  • The Chicago Dog is served on a poppy seed bun with tomato slices, dill pickles, onions and more.
  • The Seattle Dog is grilled, then served on a toasted bun, slathered in cream cheese, grilled onion and cabbage and jalapenos.
  • The Philly Dog is topped with Cheez Whiz, yellow, red and green grilled peppers and onion slices.
  • The Detroit Dog is all-beef in natural casing, served in a steamed bun and topped with beanless chili, white onion and yellow mustard.

However you like your dog, whether wrapped in a bun and smothered with condiments and other toppings, or bunless and paired with a serving of baked beans, you can enjoy one of America’s iconic foods at summer picnics, barbecues, and ballgames.


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