Hot Diggity Dog! Or should I say dogs! July is National Hot Dog Month according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Grab your dogs and toppings, because here are some interesting bits on an American classic!
Now that the weather has warmed up and gotten nice outside, grilling season is upon us yet again. Time to fire up those grills and buy some juicy hamburgers, sausages, and hot dogs, of course!
The exact origins of hot dogs are unknown, but likely their predecessor was brought over by immigrants. What we do know, however, is how they are made, and what goes into them. Hot dogs are usually pork or beef, but they can be made from poultry as well. The meat is put into a machine to be finely ground until it resembles a paste or batter (don’t look it up, trust us).
Spices and flavorings are added for flavor, and some brands add sugar or corn syrup for sweetness. Some brands also add preservatives to extend the shelf life of the product. After the meat has been finely ground, it is sent to a machine that pumps the meat into the casings. Some brands use cellulose casings, but others still use a traditional natural casing. After being injected with meat, the casings go through another machine to link the casings into strands of hot dogs.
Afterward, the strands of hot dogs are sent to an oven to cook. During this stage, smoke may be used to add extra flavor. After cooking, the dogs are showered in water to let them cool before being sent to packaging. If a cellulose casing was used, the hot dogs are sent to another machine to remove the casing. Then they are cut into individual dogs, packaged and sealed ready to be shipped to a store near you.
Some Fun Facts :
- Joey Chestnut currently holds the world record in hot dog eating by eating 69 hot dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes
- The Tokyo Dog food truck located in Seattle, WA holds the record for the most expensive hot dog, costing $169
- The longest hot dog on record, made by Novex SA of Paraguay in 2011, is 668 ft. and 7.62 in. (203.80m.)
HOW TO OBSERVE
Invite some friends over and throw some hot dogs on the grill. It’s a great time to have an easy meal and enjoy a leisurely time catching up with people we don’t get to see very often. While you’re at it, try different toppings. Get inspired and throw a hot dog buffet and have each guest bring a different ingredient. What imaginative hot dog combinations will your guests design? Use #NationalHotDogMonth to share on social media.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce first named the first observance of National Hot Dog Month in July, 1956. Since then, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has begun promoting the month.