1200 to Present
Frankfurt, Germany, U.S.The hot dog (also spelled hotdog) is a grilled or steamed sausage sandwich where the sausage is served in the slit of a partially sliced bun. It can also refer to the sausage itself. The sausage used is the wiener (Vienna sausage) or frankfurter (Frankfurter Würstchen, also just called frank). The names of these sausages also commonly refer to their assembled sandwiches. Hot dog preparation and condiments vary regionally in the United States. Typical condiments include mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, relish, and cheese sauce, and common garnishes include onions, sauerkraut, jalapeños, chili, grated cheese, coleslaw, and olives. Hot dog variants include the corn dog and pigs in a blanket. The hot dog's cultural traditions include the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. These types of sausages and their sandwiches were culturally imported from Germany and became popular in the United States, where the "hot dog" became a working-class street food sold at stands and carts. The hot dog became closely associated with baseball and American culture. Although particularly connected with New York City and its cuisine, the hot dog eventually became ubiquitous throughout the US during the 20th century, and emerged as an important part of other regional cuisines, including Chicago street cuisine.
The word "frankfurter" comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages similar to hot dogs originated. These sausages, Frankfurter Würstchen, were known since the 13th century and given to the people on the event of imperial coronations, starting with the coronation of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor as King. "Wiener" refers to Vienna, Austria (German: Wien), home to a sausage made of a mixture of pork and beef.
Another possible origin for serving the sausages in rolls is the pieman Charles Feltman, at Coney Island in New York City. In 1867 he had a cart made with a stove on which to boil sausages, and a compartment to keep buns fresh in which they were served.
A German immigrant named Feuchtwanger, from Frankfurt, in Hesse, allegedly pioneered the practice in the American midwest; there are several versions of the story with varying details. According to one account, Feuchtwanger's wife proposed the use of a bun in 1880: Feuchtwanger sold hot dogs on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri, and provided gloves to his customers so that they could handle the sausages without burning their hands. Losing money when customers did not return the gloves, Feuchtwanger's wife suggested serving the sausages in a roll instead.
An early use of the term hot dog in reference to sausage-meat appears in the Evansville (Indiana) Daily Courier (September 14, 1884): even the innocent 'wienerworst' man will be barred from dispensing hot dog on the street corner.
In another version, Antoine Feuchtwanger, or Anton Ludwig Feuchtwanger, served sausages in rolls at the World's Fair – either at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, or, earlier, at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, in Chicago – again, allegedly because the white gloves provided to customers to protect their hands were being kept as souvenirs.
According to one story, the use of the complete phrase hot dog in reference to sausage was coined by the newspaper cartoonist Thomas Aloysius "Tad" Dorgan around 1900 in a cartoon recording the sale of hot dogs during a New York Giants baseball game at the Polo Grounds.
However, Dorgan's earliest usage of hot dog was not in reference to a baseball game at the Polo Grounds, but to a bicycle race at Madison Square Garden, in The New York Evening Journal December 12, 1906, by which time the term hot dog in reference to sausage was already in use. In addition, no copy of the apocryphal cartoon has ever been found.
Hot dogs are commonly served with one or more condiments. In 2005, the US-based National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (part of the American Meat Institute) found mustard to be the most popular, preferred by 32% of respondents; 23% favored ketchup; 17% chili; 9% pickle relish, and 7% onions. Other toppings include sauerkraut, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and chili peppers. Condiment preferences vary across the U.S.. Southerners showed the strongest preference for chili, while Midwesterners showed the greatest affinity for ketchup.
The world's longest hot dog was 60 meters (197 ft) long and rested within a 60.3-meter (198 ft) bun. The hot dog was prepared by Shizuoka Meat Producers for the All-Japan Bread Association, which baked the bun and coordinated the event, including official measurement for the world record. The hot dog and bun were the center of a media event in celebration of the Association's 50th anniversary on August 4, 2006, at the Akasaka Prince Hotel, Tokyo, Japan.
On May 31, 2012, Guinness World Records certified the world record for the most expensive hot dog at USD$145.49. The "California Capitol City Dawg", served at Capitol Dawg in Sacramento, California, features a grilled 460 mm (18 in) all-beef, natural-casing frank from Chicago, served on a fresh-baked herb-and-oil focaccia roll, spread with white truffle butter, then grilled. It is topped with whole-grain mustard from France, garlic and herb mayonnaise, sauteed chopped shallots, organic mixed baby greens, maple syrup-marinated and fruitwood-smoked uncured bacon from New Hampshire, chopped tomato, moose cheese from Sweden, sweetened dried cranberries, basil olive oil and pear-cranberry-coconut balsamic vinaigrette, and ground peppercorn. Proceeds from the sale of each 1.4 kg (3 lb) super dog were donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.