Hot dog! They’re in big demand

Hot dogs are among the favorite foods of Americans, and each year they consume 60 per year on average.

With July being National Hot Dog Month and July 22 being National Hot Dog Day, along with August being National Mustard Month, it might do well to learn about the tube-shaped meat that has been called frankfurters, franks, weenies, wieners, hot dogs or red hots.

Whatever they’re called, they’re in big demand at sporting events and barbecues.

Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar’s cook, Galius, is credited with discovering the first sausage in the 1st century A.D. It is said that the frankfurter was developed in Frankfurt, Germany, five years before Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world.

In 1897, the city of Frankfurt celebrated the 500th birthday of the hot dog. In the 1850s, the Germans made thick, soft and fatty sausages from which we get the famed franks or whatever name you want to call them.

In the 17th century, legend has it that Johann Georghehner, a butcher living in Coburg, Germany, created the popular sausage known as the dachshund or little dog sausage. He later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product.

In 1880, a German peddler, Antonoine Feuchtwanger, sold hot sausages in the streets of St. Louis, Mo. He would supply white gloves with each purchase so his customers would not burn their hands while eating the sausage hot off the grill. He saw his profits going down as his customers kept taking the gloves and walking off with them.

His wife suggested that he put the sausages in a split bun instead. So, he asked his brother-in-law, a baker, for his help. He improvised long soft rolls that were made to fit the meat, thus inventing the hot dog bun. When he did that the hot dog was born and called red hots.

In 1867, Charles Feltman, a German baker, opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand in Brooklyn. Some historical accounts say that he was a butcher, but according to his great- grandson, he was a baker by trade.

In order to sell his bakery goods to men building Brooklyn, he offered them a hot lunch of a sausage on a bun, thus the beginning of the hot dog. He sold 3,684 sausages in a roll during his first year in business and is credited with the idea of the warm bun. He then started a pie wagon delivery with freshly baked pies, but the beer saloons where he made deliveries wanted hot sandwiches to serve their customers, too. A tin-lined chest to keep the rolls fresh and a small charcoal stove inside to boil the sausages solved the problem.

Nathan’s hot dogs started when Nathan Handwerker, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, went to work for Charles Feltman, slicing hot dog rolls and delivering the franks to those who toiled at the grilling stations.

He lived on eating free hot dogs and slept on the kitchen floor to save his $11-per-week salary. In a year, he saved $300 and opened a competing stand selling hot dogs for 5 cents rather than 10 cents. Thus was the beginning of Nathan’s Famous Inc. It is said that Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante were responsible for the 5 cent hot dog as they resented the fact that Feltman had raised the price on his franks to a dime. They made the suggestion that he go into business for himself, and it is suggested that Nathan Handwerker borrowed $320 from Cantor and Durante to start the business.

The name hot dog came about as Tad Dorgan, newspaper cartoonist for the New York Evening Journal, was nearing deadline and was desperate for an idea. Hearing the vendors outside his window, he hastily drew a cartoon of a frankfurter with a tail, legs and a head, so that it looked like a dachshund and not sure how to spell the name of the dog, he wrote the immortal phrase, “hot dog.” The cartoon was a sensation and the term hot dog was born.


This is a recipe using the mini hot dogs, those done up in an airtight plastic wrap. Better Homes and Gardens is the source of this recipe.

Hot Dog and Bratwurst Bites

1 cup bottled barbecue sauce

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1 teaspoon dry mustard

16 ounces cooked bratwurst, cut into 3/4-inch thick slices

8 ounces mini, cooked hot dogs

In a large saucepan, combine barbecue sauce, apricot preserves and dry mustard. Cook and stir until bubbly. Stir in bratwurst and tiny hot dogs. Cool, covered over medium-low heat about 20 minutes or until heated through. Can used as an appetizer putting a glass of large toothpicks alongside the dish. Makes 12 to 16 servings.


Here is another appetizer, using the small hot dogs or mini smoked sausages.

This only makes 4 dozen so if there is company, make sure to double the recipe.


Hot Dogs

1 pound bacon, halved

1 pound mini hot dogs or smoked sausages

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

Roll a halved bacon slice around each hot dog. Arrange on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar over top and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 30 minutes.


This is a recipe for a sauce that can be used for hot dogs, kielbasa, brats or smoked sausage. It is said to be a very old recipe, so old that the recipe copy is quite faded. It is from the Quick and Easy 2 Cookbook.

Mom’s Tasty Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 cup onion, sliced

1 cup celery, chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup catsup

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

1 pound hot dogs, or kielbasa cut into 1-inch pieces.

In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Mix together remaining ingredients except the meat. Mix well. Bring to a boil and add the meat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce thickens, stirring often. Makes eight to 10 servings.


Kids put a big okay on this casserole. It seems that anything with hot dogs is tops with them. The recipe is from Quick and Easy 2 Cookbook.

Chilli-Cheese Dog Casserole

8-ounce tube of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

8 hot dogs

15-ounce can chili with beans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Flatten each biscuit into a 6-inch round; sprinkle with the shredded Cheddar cheese. Place a hot dog near the edge of each round and roll up. Place seam-side down in a greased 13-by- 9-inch baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Top with chili and bake an additional 5 minutes until heated through. Serves eight.

Note: You could use crescent rolls rather than biscuits if desired. After putting the chili over the hot dogs sprinkle with more shredded cheddar cheese and bake as suggested.


With mustard being a popular condiment for the hot dog and since National Mustard Month will be observed in August, here are some mustard sauces that taste great on the hot dog bun.

Bacon and Brown Sugar Mustard

3/4 cup yellow mustard

3 slices bacon, crisp cooked, drained and crumbled fine

4 teaspoons packed brown sugar

Mix ingredients together, cover and chill for 8 hours to two days. Makes 1 cup.

Honey Mustard Sauce

1/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider or apple juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion or 1 teaspoon dried minced onion

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a small saucepan, stir together honey, sugar, mustard, apple juice, onion and cayenne pepper. Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar dissolves and sauce is slightly thickened. Makes 1/2 cup.


Dijon Mustard


1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

1 clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a blender combine olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, clove garlic and seasonings. Cover and blend until mixture is smooth. Makes 3/4 cup.

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