Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot Dog!!

What more can be said.....

National Hot Dog Day!!!!!!!

Despite July being National Hot Dog Month, Hot Dogs are so amazing that they even get their very own day too!!

But, did Americans always have their love for Hot Dogs???

“I devoured hot-dogs in Baltimore ‘way back in 1886, and they were then very far from newfangled….They contained precisely the same rubber, indigestible pseudo-sausages that millions of Americans now eat, and they leaked the same flabby, puerile mustard. Their single point of difference lay in the fact that their covers were honest German Wecke made of wheat-flour baked to crispiness, and not the soggy rolls prevailing today, of ground acorns, plaster-of-Paris, flecks of bath-sponge, and atmospheric air all compact.
- H. L. Mencken, 
American Journalist and Author

It seems that H. L. Mencken didn't like them so much.

Despite the old joke of "do you really want to know what kind of things fall into an industrial sausage grinder?", the simple Hot Dog didn't have much love in America until the middle of the twentieth century. The Hot Dog was considered food of the lower echelons and not even deemed fit to feed animals. Hot Dogs were even banned in some of the more posh communities around the United States, like Scarsdale, N.Y. and Evanston, IL. It wasn't until Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President and admitted to loving the lowly Hot Dog, see The Atlantic, that its stigma was lifted, and the Hot Dog was allowed its rightful place in the food pantheon.

The actual origin of the term "hot dog" is still in question; however, the definition is not. Sausages and their kin have been in existence since the first century A.D. thanks to the Emperor Nero's cook, but, the addition of a bun is what defines an actual "Hot Dog". Chances are that the Germans of Frankfurt, hence the term frankfurter, were probably the ones to add a roll or a bun of some kind to their delicious sausages, as they were already selling their sausages, milk buns, and sauerkraut from pushcarts on the streets of New York City in the 1860's.

Growing up in New York City, the Hot Dog was quintessential street food. Especially when paired with an Orange Julius in the old Times Square (not the sanitized horror that it is today) or, my personal favorite, with a Papaya drink.

A good friend of mine was known for organizing the "midnight papaya run" while we were supposedly studying for final exams in High School. The call would go out, and one by one, we would pick up a guy at his place, walk two more blocks, make a phone call, meet three more guys on the next corner, walk a few more blocks, call some more guys, meet them three blocks down, until we had as many as we could gather at our version of Mecca.

"Two with, medium Papaya"

So, today I will make my own pilgrimage.


  1. i love fucking hot dogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. There was a rumor going around about you in my middle school. I never thought it was true. I hope you figured out what to do when it broke off.

  2. Their single point of difference lay in the fact that their covers were honest German Wecke made of wheat-flour baked to crispiness. Lej en pølsevogn