In 2011, consumers spent more than $1.7 billion on hot dogs in U.S. supermarkets.
The world's longest hot dog was 1,996 feet, made in honor of the 1996 Olympics.
The final milestone of the classic age of the hot dog came in 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) elected to serve hot dogs to His Royal Majesty King George VI (1895-1952) on an official picnic at Springwood -- the first ever visit of a British monarch to the United States. King George reportedly enjoyed the "delightful hot dog sandwich" and commanded Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) to fetch him another.
To press and public alike, George VI proved that day that it was not untoward for a king to be seen to be fellating a foodstuff. The hot dog had bridged the trans-Atlantic gap a revolution had opened, and received the royal bob of approval.
Who named them “hot dogs?” German immigrant sausage makers are probably at least partly to credit for hot dog formulations. Not only did Germans bring their recipes, they also brought a new breed of dog to America, the Dachshund.
Their tasty sausages were nicknamed “Dachshund sausages” because of their shape and length, fortunately not their content. German entrepreneurs began selling sausages with bread as early as the 1860s. According to some sources, “Hot Dachshund Sausages” were called “hot dogs” by college students who enjoyed munching on them or maybe as a joke about the Germans’ pets.
Kraig says a marketing ploy led to Chicago's "no ketchup" policy as Vienna wanted to distinguish itself from Oscar Meyer and other brands.
"Decided that these are adult hot dogs from hot dog stands, so they have to be different. Kids put ketchup on everything because they don't know any better, and so they said no ketchup. And so it caught on, and it became a Chicago thing," Kraig said.
Marketing aside, Kraig says from a purely culinary point of view, ketchup has no place on an all-beef dog.
The stand's owner, Nathan Handwerker, had listened as each one had bragged that he was the most American of the four. Nathan feared that the men would get into a brawl. He wanted his brand new stand to remain intact. Quickly, he suggested a hot dog eating contest. Whoever ate the most hot dogs would be declared the most patriotic. Nathan also hoped that the contest would attract more customers.
The men agreed. Nathan placed large plates of hot dogs, buns included, before them. The contestants shoveled in the food at top speed. James Mullen, an Irish immigrant, inhaled 13 hot dogs in 12 minutes (just over one hot dog per minute). He won the contest (and had a colossal stomachache). Nathan stated that a hot dog eating contest would be held at his stand each year.
Nathan’s Famous was founded by a Polish immigrant, Nathan Handwerker, and his is truly an authentic “only in America story.” He started his business in 1916 with a small hot dog stand in Coney Island, New York. He sold hot dogs that were manufactured based on a recipe developed by his wife, Ida.
The year, 1893, was an important date in hot dog history. In Chicago that year, the Colombian Exposition brought hordes of visitors who consumed large quantities of sausages sold by vendors. People liked this food that was easy to eat, convenient and inexpensive. Hot dog historian Bruce Kraig, Ph.D., retired professor emeritus at Roosevelt University, says the Germans always ate the dachshund sausages with bread. Since the sausage culture is German, it is likely that Germans introduced the practice of eating the dachshund sausages, which we today know as the hot dog, nestled in a bun.
Sausage is one of the oldest forms of processed food, having been mentioned in Homer's Odyssey as far back as the 9th Century B.C.
Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, is traditionally credited with originating the frankfurter. However, this claim is disputed by those who assert that the popular sausage - known as a "dachshund" or "little-dog" sausage - was created in the late 1600's by Johann Georghehner, a butcher, living in Coburg, Germany. According to this report, Georghehner later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product.
1805 - The people of Vienna (Wien), Austria point to the term "wiener" to prove their claim as the birthplace of the hot dog. It is said that the master sausage maker who made the first wiener got his early training in Frankfurt, Germany. He called his sausage the "wiener-frankfurter." But it was generally known as "wienerwurst." The wiener comes from Wien (the German name of Vienna) and wurst means sausage in German.
1690s - Another legend is that the popular sausage (known as "dachshund" or "little-dog" sausage) was created in the late 1600s by Johann Georghehner, a butcher living in Coburg, Germany. It is said that he later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product.
Hot dogs are almost as historic as they are scrumptious. The first mention of hot dogs is owed to Homer in 850 B.C, with a line from the Odyssey, "As when a man besides a great fire has filled a sausage with fat and blood and turns it this way and that and is very eager to get it quickly roasted. . .". However the invention itself is actually credited to Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar's cook, Gaius in 64 A.D. Who knows if Homer knew Gaius had just committed copy right infringement, this is the earliest story we know. It's said that Gaius accidentally forgot to clean a pig before roasting and discovered the intestines puffed, hot with air. He then filled them with ground meats and spices, tied them into sections and brought the sausage into history and on to our summer time grills.