Fun and Interesting Facts About Hot Dogs

Baseball and Hot Dogs!
Regardless of your home team, there’s one thing nearly all baseball fans have in common: a love of the All American Hot Dog. Americans will eat anout 23 million Hot Dogs in major league ballparks -- that's enough to stretch coast-to-coast from Dodgers' Stadium in Los Angeles to Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The Hot Dog and Sausage Council projects that MLB ballparks around the country will serve 22,435,400 hot dogs this season (2011), enough to round the bases 31,160 times. That represents 1.06 million more hot dogs than 2010, or a 5 percent increase, the first increase in three years.

In addition, the Council predicts ballparks will sell 5,161,370 sausages this year, more than 227,000 than in 2010, an increase of 4.6 percent.

Miller Park in Milwaukee, home of the Brewers and the world-famous Klement's Sausage Race in the sixth inning of each game, is projected to serve 900,000 sausages this year, good for a landslide victory in the Council's third-annual sausage consumption survey. Miller Park is the only stadium in Major League Baseball where sausages out sell hot dogs.

Top 10 Hot Dog Baseball Stadiums for 2005
1. Dodger Stadium – 1,674,400 
2. Coors Field – 1,545,000 
3. Wrigley Field – 1,543,500
4. Yankees Stadium – 1,365,000 
5. Minute Maid Park – 1,248,000 
6. Edison Field – 1,133,000 
7. HHH Metrodome – 850,000 
8. Citizens Bank Park – 800,000
9. Shea Stadium – 745,000 
10. U.S. Cellular Field – 495,000 

  • In Chicago, more than 80% of the hot dog vendors proudly feature Vienna® Beef products. Vienna is often considered the Rolls-Royce of Hot Dogs. 
  • Travelers passing through Chicago's O'Hare airport purchase 2 million Hot Dogs each year according to restaurant and concession stand reports. This makes O'hare the biggest Hot Dog seller in the United States.
  • Actor Bruce Willis proposed to Demi Moore at Pink's Hot Dog stand in Hollywood, California.
  • Americans typically consume 7 billion Hot Dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
  • On the Fourth of July, Americans will enjoy 150 million Hot Dogs!
  • On every Independence Day since 1916, at its original Coney Island hot dog stand, Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest has celebrated this iconic American food.
  • The United States Chamber of Commerce officially designated July as National Hot Dog Month in 1957, and the tradition has been going strong ever since.
  • July 20th has been declared National Hot Dog Day.  
  • Every second of every day, 450 Hot Dogs are eaten in the United States.
  • Nearly one-third of all Americans eat Hot Dogs one to three times per month.
  • Sixty percent of Americans prefer their Hot Dogs grilled.
  • Twenty one percent prefer their Hot Dogs boiled.
  • The world's longest hot dog was 1,996 feet, made in honor of the 1996 Olympics.
  • People who cook Hot Dogs tend to be women, 25 to 44 years old, married with school-age children.

How many Hot Dogs do Americans eat each year and where do they eat them?
According to recent survey data obtained by the Council, Americans purchase 350 million pounds of hot dogs at retail stores - that's 9 billion hot dogs! But the actual number of hot dogs consumed by Americans is probably much larger. It is difficult to calculate the number of hot dogs Americans may eat at sporting events, local picnics and carnivals. The Council estimates Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year - more than twice the retail sales figures. That works out to about 70 hot dogs per person each year. Hot dogs are served in 95 percent of homes in the United States. Fifteen percent of hot dogs are purchased from street vendors and 9 percent are purchased at ballparks, according to statistics from the Heartland Buffalo Company. New York City was named America's leading Hot Dog sales city, followed by L.A. and the Baltimore-D.C. area.

A Chicago Dog in Toronto Canada?
In Toronto, Canada hot dogs are the only kind of street food allowed by law. The law sets extremely high (almost unachievable) requirements for street-food vendors, with an exception for "pre-cooked meat products in the form of wieners or similar products to be served on a bun". That results in a greater competition amoung vendors and excellent quality of the hotdogs in the city.  (Note: One of the best Chicago Dogs I ever had was from a street vendor in Toronto).  Here is a link to the Toronto Department of Public Health requirements for Hot Dog carts:

How to Say Hot Dog in Different Languages

  • Spanish - Perrito Caliente
  • Italian - Caldo cane
  • French - Chien chaud
  • German - Heisser Hund or Wurst
  • Portugese - Cachorro quente
  • Swedish - Korv or varmkorv
  • Norwegian/Danish - Grillpolser
  • Latin - Pastillum botello fartum
  • Czech - Park v rohliku
  • Dutch- Worstjes
  • Finnish - Makkarat

Regional Variations
Hot Dogs are served countless ways and vary greatly by region. Many cities are well known for their unique style of blending and configuring the ingredients on their Dogs. Hot Dogs not only differ by how they are prepared and accessorized, but also in size. Regular Hot Dogs are 6 inches in length (15 cm) and "footlong" Hot Dogs are twelve inches (30 cm) long. Here are some of the many popular ways Hot Dogs are served throughout the country:

Chicago - Vienna beef hot dog topped with chopped onions, diced/wedged tomatoes, a dill pickle spear, pickled hot peppers ("sport peppers"), pickle relish, mustard, and celery salt, and served on a poppy seed bun. 

Cincinnati - Usually served as a "cheese coney" with Cincinnati chili, shredded mild cheddar cheese, and sometimes chopped onion and/or mustard.

Upstate New York - There are two distinct types of hot dogs. There are Red Hots and White Hots. Red Hots are "normal" hot dogs while White Hots are plumper and were first made by Zweigles of Rochester N.Y.

New York  - The street cart-style hot dog is the Sabrett all-beef natural casing frank, boiled and served with onion sauce and deli mustard—or sauerkraut.

North Carolina - Also with chili and cole slaw, with the addition of mustard and onions. Referred to as a hot dog 'all the way.'

Pacific Northwest - Often enjoyed with some combination of ketchup, mustard, relish, and mayo.

Boston - Often served steamed as opposed to grilled. Ketchup, mustard, relish, picalilli, and chopped onions are common toppings. The "Fenway Frank" is a fixture for Red Sox fans.

West Virginia - Hot dogs are usually served with chili sauce (usually without beans) and cole slaw. When served without a wiener, it is locally called a "chili dog", much to the confusion of non-residents. Click Here for more information about West Virginia Hot Dogs.

Rhode Island - Called New York Style Hot Wieners, and served with meat sauce, chopped onion, mustard, and celery salt.

Providence Rhode Island - Home of the excellent New York System Frank, your basic hot dog covered with a watery, all-beef chili, raw chopped onions and curry powder.

Detroit - Served as a "coney" with chili sauce, mustard, and onions on a steamed bun.

Kansas City - A Dog with sauerkraut and melted cheese.

New Jersey - Several styles of Hot Dogs are popular here: A "Potato Dog" has diced and stewed potatoes, brown mustard and served on spicy Sabrett® brand Hot Dog. "Texas Weiners" (chili dogs everywhere else) are Hot Dogs served with brown mustard, hot and spicy chili and diced raw onions. An "Italian Dog" has fried onions, peppers and potatoes.

Georgia - Especially, South Georgia, has a "Scrambled" Dog (or dawg). This is a cheap, usually red-skinned hot dog, on a toasted white bun and topped with mustard and spicy chili sauce.

Southern Slaw Dog - Topped with mustard, chili and cole slaw.

Regional Hot Dog Recipes
In June 2005, The CBS Early Show had a segment called, "Not All Dogs Are Created Equal". Just in time for the 4th of July, the Early Show's resident Chef Bobby Flay shared some of his favorite regional Hot Dog recipes. Click Here to check out the featured recipes.

Hot Dog Etiquette

If you think eating Hot Dogs is all about slapping a wiener on a bun, you're in for a surprise. If you're going to dine on dogs properly, you'll need these do's and don'ts from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

          Don't ... 

  • Put hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always "dress the dog," not the bun.
  • Leave bits of bun on your plate. Eat it all.
  • Use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18.
  • Use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable.
  • Put fresh herbs on the same plate with hot dogs. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.
  • Bring wine to a hot dog barbecue. Beer, soda, lemonade and iced tea are preferable.
  • Send a thank you note following a hot dog barbecue. It would not be in keeping with the unpretentious nature of hot dogs.
  • Ever think there is a wrong time to serve hot dogs.

Do ...

  • Apply condiments in the following order: wet condiments such as mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments such as relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.
  • Serve sesame seed, poppy seed and plain buns with hot dogs. Sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.
  • Eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.
  • Condiments remaining on the fingers after eating a hot dog should be licked away, not washed.
  • Use paper plates to serve hot dogs. Every day dishes are acceptable. China is a no-no.

Poppy Seeds and Positive Drug Tests
Can the consumption of poppy seeds used on bagels, buns and muffins produce positive results on drug screening tests? YES!

Click Here for more information on this subject. A humorous look at poppy seeds and drug testing can be found Here.

Many of the interesting facts presented here are courtesy of the following websites:

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