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22 February 2019

Meatastic Frankfurter Story! Where Did Hot Dogs Come From?

It is an unacceptable simplification and culinary sin to call hot dog a sausage stuck in a cut bread roll. This trivial type of sandwich or snack is a legendary dish sold on the streets of US and the whole rest of the world! What’s more, it became a culinary symbol of pop culture!

Where Did Hot Dogs Come From?

The history of hot dogs is nowhere near as simple as the snack itself. It all started in Frankfurt by the river of Main, where the first frankfurter was created in the 15th century. Due to its narrow and long shape it was called “dachshnud” (exactly like the name of a dog!), which means “little dog” in German. When a hot dog was taking its final shape, there was a need for an advertisement. Tad Dorgon, the cartoonist from NY newspaper didn’t know how to spell “dachshnud”, so he just took the easy way out and created the slogan “Get your hot-dogs”.

Analyzing the subject and diving into it like into ketchup and mustard, you may come across some inaccuracies as to the author of the snack. The literature on the subject mentions two characters: Harry Stevens and Charles Feitman.

Here is the first story telling about how the snack appeared in NY. It is connected with Charles Feltman, who emigrated from Frankfurt to New York at the age of 15. In 1876, he bought a trolley to pull it through the sand and heat every day, selling cookies to sunbathers laying on the beaches of Coney Island. However, for both Charles and his customers, sweets were not enough to satisfy one’s hunger. Then the man thought of his years in Frankfurt and remembered the wonderful taste of frankfurters, which were already known in USA due to immigrants.

He started to sell warm frankfurters. He served them with bread and toppings on plates. Unfortunately, this system failed. Washing and searching for a cutlery that customers had thrown away was quite problematic. Then the roll came to the rescue: the moment of putting a frankfurter between two halves of a roll went down in history and turned out to be as revolutionary as adding sausage to scrambled eggs.

Hot dogs, in form of a frankfurter in a baguette, become more successful than anyone could ever expected. News of a snack from Coney Island, simple in preparation and effective in taste, spread throughout the USA. Hot dogs were given to people at baseball games and sold on the streets of big cities.

Although Feltman was the inventor of hot dogs, it was Nathan Handwerker who earned more on them. This Galician immigrant worked with Feltman and left him in 1916 to start a business that would be much more associated with the product than the one initiated by its inventor.

Nathan founded the first shop and called it “Nathan’s”. He would sell hot dogs for 5 cents, which was half a price of Feltman’s. It is easy to predict what happened next. Led by hunger and reason, Americans preferred to buy two hot dogs from Nathan than only one from Feltman. His company have survived until today and is known in US as Nathan’s Famous.

Now, it is time for story no. 2. It took place in 1901, several years after the events described above. This is the story about Harry Stevens, who would sell ice-cream and orangeade on polo fields. One day, he introduced hot frankfurters to his offer, which turned out to be an excellent idea. Of course, he served it in a roll.

Hot dog underwent various changes over the years. Today the most popular form, especially at gas stations, is a baguette with a hole for a frankfurter or a kabanos. As street food became fashionable, we can also see hot dogs in a longer bun quite often, but nowadays we have a wide choice of various toppings.

Hot dog recipe

It a recipe for two. You will need:
2 Sunny wieners
2 hot dog buns
2 slices of yellow cheese
leaf of lettuce
mustard and ketchup

Boil the wieners, butter the buns and put a slice of cheese on them. Put them in the oven for 5 minutes. Put the wiener, torn lettuce, couple slices of tomato and cucumber in the bun. Add ketchup and mustard, and sprinkle with chives.

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