Frankfurt, Germany is thought to be the place where sausage was first served in a bun. The hot dog, which is actually a type of sausage, was initially called a frankfurter or frank for short because of the Frankfurt, Germany origin. The hot dog has also been called a wiener, which comes from the word “wien”, the German name for Vienna in Austria. Vienna is the place where sausages were created with a mix of beef and pork (the contents of some hot dogs). Knowing the true origin of the term hot dog is difficult to tell because there’s also a claim that a Bavarian butcher created what he called the dachshund, which means little dog. However, it is believed that since the Germans invented the frank and are the first known to have sold the bun and frank from a cart in New York City, the little dog, heated at the vendor cart caught on as a hot dog. Wherever the name came from, Americans love hot dogs. Purchases in 2007 exceeded seven billion hot dogs.
A LIFE TIME OF EATING HOT DOGS
Even the youngest child likes this meat that they can wrap their fingers around. Still lacking the skill to handle a fork and knife, food eaten by hand is perfect. Perhaps the adult allure to the hot dog goes back to those child memories of something you are supposed to eat with your hands. How convenient!
What goes on the hot dog conveys your personality and how open you are to new and varied taste combinations. As kids, ketchup was all we wanted on our hot dog. But as we grew older, the hot dog became merely a starting point on a bun. We needed to decorate it with an array of condiments and food items, most of which can emit odors from bodily orifices hours after consumption.
For instance, that ketchup dog as a child progressed to a ketchup and mustard dog in early teens. Mustard and onions, no ketchup in late teens was the way to go. During the wilder twenties, that hot dog was laden with chili and cheese, or sauerkraut, or was super loaded with onions, relish, and mustard.
By our thirties, we still enjoyed the chili/cheese dog and sauerkraut, but we wanted to make sure that those foods are only on top of the dog, not beneath the dog. We also like our hot dog covered with grilled onion, diced tomatoes, and sweet peppers with a squiggle of mustard, precisely down the center. Our hot dog has evolved to a meticulous creation.
During our forties, we ate hot dogs secretly, not willing to disclose our continued love for this questionable ingredient meat product. We should be eating healthy, preparing for mid-life, right?
By our fifties, we are split on the topic of hot dog dining. Our mature nature says we should be eating premium cuts of animal or fowl, or no meat at all, definitely not hot dogs. That allure of hand food nags at us though, not to mention the taste, and we have to have a hot dog or two, but without the previously enjoyed chili or ‘kraut. Our stomachs can’t handle it.
We usher in our sixties, with memories of by-gone years. Our bodies are screaming 60, but our minds are thinking 20’s. We no longer care what we eat or who knows. Any potential stomach woes are aided with medication so bring on those chili/cheese dogs with sauerkraut. That same mind set carries us through our 70’s.
Once 80 hits us, we are glad we still know what a hot dog is. Leave off all the heavy toppings, just give us some ketchup. Heck, forget the bun too and slap that dog in my hand. We’ve gone full cycle.
We slip into our 90’s telling our grand and great grandchildren about the good old days of grilled hot dogs, boiled hot dogs, fried hot dogs, broiled hot dogs, steamed hot dogs, and dogs on a stick cooked over an open fire.
The hot dog is a magnificent food!