Ketchup lovers, mustard enthusiasts, and pickle aficionados - gather around, because we're about to relish in a celebration of everyone's favorite ballpark snack! That's right, we're talking about National Hotdog Day! A day which, much like the toppings on a dog, has got a little bit of everything.
It's national hotdog day on the 23rd July.
The humble hotdog has long been a staple of American cuisine, comforting our bellies and hearts, from backyard BBQ's to big league games. To honor this culinary champion, every year on the 23rd of July we raise our weiners to the sky and celebrate National Hotdog Day.
Our Internet detectives have tracked down over 11,327 mentions of National Hotdog Day going back as far as we can ketchup... I mean, catch up. The biggest year so far was 2015 when we detected a mouth-watering amount of digital chatter on 23rd July 2015. Truly, a year to relish!
National Hot Dog Day isn't just about feasting on franks, though that is a hard-to-beat component. It's also a day of frankfurter fun and games, with hot dog eating competitions, costume contests, and even wiener dog races. It’s safe to say we are quite bun, I mean, fond of this celebration!
No Hot Dog Day discourse can be complete without touching the spicy debate - the war of the toppings. Ketchup, mustard, onions, chili, coleslaw - are they all fair game or should some be left in the jar? Sorry folks, this is one debate we won't take a bite into. The hotdog is a canvas, and you, the artist who chooses the colors – or in this case, the toppings!
The history of the term 'hotdog' begins with the creation of the sausage. In 1867, the first documented evidence of a sausage-like creation was found in a cookbook written by Johann Georg Lahner, a butcher from Germany. He called his creation a 'dachshund sausage' because he believed it resembled the narrow, elongated body of a dachshund dog.
The term 'hotdog' made its way to the United States in 1871 when German immigrants brought their sausage-making skills to the country. At this time, the term 'hotdog' was not yet commonly used to refer to sausages.
The term 'hotdog' gained popularity in 1901 when a sandwich vendor named Thomas Francis Xavier Morris began selling sausages inside small rolls at the New York Polo Grounds. He kept his sausages warm by placing them in gloves heated by steam. The combination of the warm sausages and the small rolls resembling a dog's body led to people referring to them as 'hotdogs.'
The term 'hotdog' made its official debut in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair. Chris von der Ahe, the owner of the St. Louis Browns baseball team, realized the potential of selling hotdogs during baseball games. He commissioned Antoine Feuchtwanger, a German immigrant, to create a practical way for customers to hold the sausages. Feuchtwanger used a bun to hold the sausage, making it easier to eat. This combination of the sausage and the bun became known as the 'hotdog,' and its popularity spread rapidly.
In the 1920s, hotdogs became a symbol of American pop culture. They were commonly found at baseball games, amusement parks, and backyard barbecues. The term 'hotdog' became synonymous with fast, inexpensive, and delicious street food. Advertisements, movies, and cartoon characters further solidified the association of 'hotdog' with American culture.
In 1972, the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest was first held in Coney Island, New York. This event helped elevate hotdogs to a new level of fame. Competitive eaters from all around the world gather to vie for the title of the 'World Hot Dog Eating Champion.' This event, and similar competitions, made hotdogs an iconic symbol of indulgence and excess.
Today, 'hotdog' is deeply ingrained in American cuisine. It is a staple at picnics, sporting events, and backyard gatherings. Hotdogs have also evolved to include a variety of regional styles, from the iconic Chicago-style hotdogs to the spicy chili dogs of the South. The term 'hotdog' represents not only a food item but also a cultural symbol of American casual dining and culinary creativity.
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