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Enjoy Some Hot Dog History

Where did the name "hot dog" come from? Legend says that cartoonist, Tad Dorgan, saw a vendor selling "hot dachshund sausages" at a baseball game at the New York Polo Grounds. He shouted, "Get your red-hot dachshund sausages!" In his cartoon, Dorgan drew a dachshund dog, resting in a bun. But he didn't know how to spell dachshund, so he gave the cartoon the caption, "Get your hot dogs." However, no one has ever found a copy of this cartoon. Others say the name was a joke about German immigrants being small, long, thin dogs. And some say that students at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, referred to the wagons outside their dorms that sold hot sausages\ as "dog wagons." That name soon became "hot dog." Indeed, the exact origin of the term is unknown.

When was the first hot dog served with a roll? That question is under debate. However, since the sausage culture is German, these folks most likely introduced Americans to the practice of eating hot dogs in buns. Still, others say it was introduced at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. A concessionaire loaned white gloves to his patrons, so they could hold the hot treat. When he ran low on gloves, he asked his brother-in-law, a baker, for help. The baker created the bun out of long soft buns.

What is in a hot dog? Hot dogs are cured and cooked sausages that consist of mainly pork, beef, chicken, and turkey or a combination of meat and poultry. Other ingredients include water, curing agents, and spices such as garlic, salt, sugar, ground mustard, nutmeg, coriander ,and white pepper. If other meats are used in the hot dog, federal law mandates that they be listed on the package.

Which baseball stadium attendees eat the most hot dogs? Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles is predicted to be the top hot-dog-eating stadium for 2005 at 1, 674,400.

How many hot dogs do Americans eat each year? It is estimated that Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year or about 70 hot dogs per person each year. Hot dogs are served in 95 percent of homes in the United States.

What is the most popular condiment for a hot dog? For adults, mustard is the most popular condiment for a hot dog; but for children, it is ketchup. Topping preferences do vary by region. In New York, hot dogs are often served with a light mustard and steamed onions. In Chicago, hot dogs are served with mustard, relish, onions, and tomato slices.

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