Everything you always wanted to know about the hot dog . . .

What do you call them? Hot dogs, frankfurters, wieners? Learn some trivia about this popular summertime food.

How come a hot dog in the summer seems as American as apple pie in the fall? Every once in a while, a hot dog hits the spot. But did you ever wonder about its name?

The name “hot dog” supposedly came from a New York cartoonist around 1900. At that time, hot dogs were known as frankfurters, Coney Islands, red hots, and dachshund sausages. They were very popular at baseball games where vendors would yell out, “Get your Coney Islands!” T.A. Dorgan, a sports cartoonist, drew a cartoon of franks being sold at a ballpark. His drawing pictured little dachshunds (the dogs) in buns and was captioned “hot dogs.”

A Hot Dog by Any Other Name
Today, hot dogs are also called many other things, including:

  • Frankfurters
  • Franks
  • Wieners
  • Weenies

Why frankfurter? This name seems to come from the city of Frankfurt in Germany where pork sausages in a bun originated. The name “wieners” appears to base its origin from the city of Vienna, Austria, whose German name is “Wien” and is home to a sausage made from a mixture of pork and beef.

Traditionally hot dogs are made from beef, pork, or a combination. Today however, they can also be made from turkey, chicken, and even from tofu for a vegetarian hot dog.

World’s Biggest?

According to the State Café & Catering Restaurant in South Bend, Indiana, the world’s biggest hot dog was 1,996 feet long and was created by the Sara Lee Corporation in honor of the 1996 Olympics.

A Hot Dog Season?

  • Fourth of July could be known as “hot dog day.” It is when most hot dogs are consumed in America.
  • According to many web sites, Americans eat more than 16 billion hot dogs each year.

Most Popular Way to Eat a Dog??
According to a 2006 survey by Nation’s Restaurant News, the most popular hot dog toppings by region were:

  • New York – Mustard
  • Chicago – Cucumber, Tomato, Pickle, Onion, Pickle Relish
  • Los Angeles – Mayonnaise, Cheese

What is your favorite hot dog topping? 

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