Americans will eat 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July according to a History.com infographic, “enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. five times”, but the hot dog didn’t make its way to American fare until German immigrants brought it over in the mid 1800’s.
The first celebratory meals on record (circa late 1700’s) consisted of turtle soup, poached salmon with egg sauce, green peas, and boiled new potatoes. Indian pudding (aka “hasty pudding”) and Apple Pandowdy were dessert favorites.
The American barbeque style of cooking didn’t come onto the scene until the late 1800’s, when cowboys on cattle drives adopted slow cooking at low temperatures [grilling refers to direct, high heat cooking] in an effort to tenderize tougher meat cuts. Charcoal briquettes were first patented in 1897.
National Hot Dog Month
7 billion hot dogs will be consumed between Memorial Day and Labor Day this season and 1.7 billion dollars in hot dog sales were transacted at U.S. supermarkets last year. July is National Hot Dog Month; wieners are undeniably here to stay!
Chicago was fourth in the list of top ten hot dog cities behind L.A., New York and Baltimore according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. There were, however, six more times the amount of hot dogs, 725,000 more to be exact, consumed at O’Hare Airport in 2012 than at LAX and LaGuardia combined.
In addition to providing stats, recipes and promoting all around hot dog good will, the Council also offers a video on hot dog etiquette. Here are some of their top tips:
Utensils should never touch hot dogs in buns Never put ketchup on your dog after the age of 18 Hot dogs are meant to be eaten in 5 bites; foot longs in 7 Add all hot dog condiments on top of the dog (never between it and the bun) Condiments should be added in this order: wet, chunky, shredded and spices
Celebrate and Enjoy the Holiday!
72 years have passed since July 4th became an official federal holiday in 1941. Well over 150 years before that, John Adams wrote his wife, Abigail, on what he hoped our nation’s anniversary would become some day; he was right on the mark:
I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…