Why are hot dogs called DOGS

The hot dog

Why actually "hot dog"?

How the hot dog got its name cannot be exactly reconstructed today. The term evidently developed in American everyday language usage and can be dated to around the beginning of the 20th century.

People referred to the sausages as "dog", which is due to a vague similarity between the sausages and certain breeds of dogs such as the dachshund. "Hot dog" means something like hot dog, meaning hot sausage.

It is also believed that the butchers at that time not only processed pork and beef, but also dog meat.

The sausage

The soft hot dog bun contains a finely ground scalded sausage that has already been pre-cooked. The seller from the snack bar just puts the sausage on the grill to heat it up. The length of the hot dog sausage is standardized so that it fits perfectly into the bread roll, which is also always the same length.

The sausages in hot dogs today are either beef, pork, or a mixture of both. There are even hot dogs for vegetarians in which the meat has been replaced with soy.

The hot dog sausage could be derived from the Frankfurter sausage. For centuries, people from Rheinhessen have been eating "Weck, Worscht un Woi": rolls, sausages and cider. German emigrants may have brought this recipe with them to America.

The bun and the side dishes

The soft bun in which the sausage lies is usually made of wheat flour and has a slightly sweet taste, similar to the hamburger bun. Depending on the region, the hot dog bun is available with and without sesame seeds. It is suitable for all-day sales because, like toast, it does not get hard for a long time.

The takeaway chef heats it up just before it is sold, making it crispy. Because the hot dog bun is so soft, it absorbs the sauce that is poured over the sausage particularly well.

The taste of the hot dog can be varied according to your own taste with the various side dishes, the topping (German: garnish). One of the most important toppings is the seasoning sauce made from cooked vegetables, the relish. In New York, the sauce is often based on ketchup and onions. It is pre-cooked and kept warm for consumption at the hot dog stand.

Other toppings include: fried onions, cucumber, mustard, mayonnaise and chillies, processed cheese and occasionally sauerkraut and minced meat.

The rule is: Everything that tastes good is allowed. Most stalls in New York only sell their hot dogs with the classic ingredients: mustard, spicy sauce and sauerkraut.

The history of the snack

Exactly where the hot dog comes from is not clearly established. It is believed that people from the New York City area invented it.

The fact that the hot dog became world famous is largely thanks to the resourceful immigrant Nathan Handwerker, who worked as a waiter in Brooklyn. In 1916 Nathan opened a food stand: his hot dogs were cheap and the advertising strategies were clever.

In the same year he organized a competition in which the participants ate in competition. With success: nine years later he opened the first permanent snack bar. The entrepreneur issued licenses based on the franchise concept so that others could open a branch with his recipes and his logo.

The "Nathan's Famous" fast food chain is certainly one reason the hot dog became so popular in America - and later overseas too. The chain still organizes the competition to this day.

Eating hot dogs in New York

The hotdog is now one of the New Yorkers' favorite dishes. In addition to the branches of "Nathan's Famous" and similar fast-food restaurants, there is a mobile snack stand on every corner to satisfy the appetite of the many hungry mouths. These are usually made of stainless steel, have a colorful umbrella and wheels so that you can move from street to street.

The hotdog is available for as little as one dollar. The seller garnishes it as desired and usually serves it in a napkin or on a cardboard pad. You don't need a knife and fork for consumption: you eat hot dogs by hand!

Americans love them as a snack in between meals and especially like to eat them on national holidays and at baseball games.

The triumph of a simple sausage

The hot dog is also a popular snack in other countries - in a slightly different form. The Scandinavians love their red-colored sausages, fried, boiled, garnished with fried onions, sweet and sour cucumbers, tartar sauce and, on the Faroe Islands, even with red cabbage.

In Austria, the hot dog chefs hide the sausage in a closed - and not as usual in a sliced ​​- bread roll. Often they even replace the soft bread with baguettes.

Even in the country of origin there are idiosyncratic variations of the hot dog, including the corndog from Texas. It consists of a sausage skewered on a stick that is baked in corn dough.

No matter how differently the hotdog is prepared, one common denominator remains: At the core there is usually a juicy boiled sausage with a fine consistency and a crunchy shell. And so the hot dog has conquered orbit after Earth.