Independence Day is approaching, that quintessential holiday when the United States lights up their backyard grills and the evening sky with the thrill and grace of fireworks. Standards on the grill: Hot Dogs and Hamburgers… neither of which are truly “American” in their origins!
A Dog’s Odyssey
The Hot Dog, as we know it today, evolved from sausages during the time of Homer, the legendary Greek author of the Iliad and the Odyssey in the 9th century BC. Since then, it really hasn’t changed all that much.
It's said that the Frankfurter was developed there in 1487, five years before Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world. The people of Vienna (Wien), Austria, point to the term "wiener" to prove their claim as the birthplace of the hot dog.
However, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, is traditionally credited with originating the frankfurter. However, this claim is disputed by those who assert that the popular sausage - known as a "dachshund" or "little-dog" sausage - was created in the late 1600's by Johann Georghehner, a butcher, living in Coburg, Germany. According to this report, Georghehner later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product.
… To The U.S. …
1893, In Chicago, the Colombian Exposition brought hordes of visitors who consumed large quantities of sausages sold by vendors. People liked this food that was easy to eat, convenient and inexpensive. Hot dog historian Bruce Kraig, Ph.D., retired professor emeritus at Roosevelt University, says the Germans always ate the “Dachshun” (coined from the breed of dog with a similar shape) sausages with bread. Since the sausage culture is German, it is likely that Germans introduced the practice of eating the dachshund sausages, which we today know as the hot dog, nestled in a bun.
… To Conquering The Word!
The Hot Dog soon became a favorite around the world, with each culture adding its own epicurean version. It is fascinating to comprehend that there is not one place on earth the Hot Dog hasn’t been, and how readily adaptable and acceptable they are to all who embrace them.
This Independence Day, while celebrating our country’s freedoms, celebrate the universality of the Hot Dog - and how it is a true common denominator of the human race… and ponder why we can’t all be more like them.
Let’s travel the globe together and see how they are enjoyed...
Germany (Frankfurter Würstel)
Frankfurter with Sauerkraut, Potato Salad, and Mustard (no bun!)
All American (Hot Dog)
White Bread Bun, Ketchup, Mustard, Pickle Relish
Venezuelan (Perro Caliente)
White Bun, Grated Carrots, Cabbage, Mustard, Mayonnaise and Broken Potato Chips
Deep Fried Corn Dog covered with coated with Crinkle-Cut French Fries (on a stick!), served with ketchup
Philippines (Hot Dog)
Bright Red Notched Dog, Banana Ketchup, White Rice, and a Fried Egg (no bun)
Brazil (Cachorro Quente)
Pico de Gallo, Corn, Grated Parmesan, Shredded Carrots, Diced Ham, and Shoestring Fries
Mashed Potatoes, Shrimp Salad, Lettuce and Fried Onions, wrapped in a Corn Tortilla (Anthony Bourdain liked it!)
Covered in Shredded Gruyere, on a Baguette sliced lengthwise, and broiled
China (Règǒu -热(熱)狗)
Wrapped in a Dumpling-like Dough, sprinkled with Sesame Seeds and baked
Chorizo in a Soft Hero Roll, slathered with Chimichurri, and a mixture of Pickled Red Onions and Tomatoes
Sliced to resemble an Octopus, deep fried, and served part of a Bento Box
Wrapped in Bacon, grilled sliced Peppers, Onions and Jalapenos, squishy white Bun
Italy (Hot Dog)
Deep fried, Bell Peppers and Onions, French Fries, Mustard and Ketchup, in a soft Roll
Czech Republic (Párek v Rohlíku)
In a Roll with a hole punched out lengthwise, and coated with ketchup and mustard
Greece (χοτ ντογκ)
Tzatziki, Cucumber, and Kalamata Olives in Pita
Polynesia (Hot Dog)
Grilled, with Pineapple, Hoisin Sauce, and Scallions
Iceland (Ein með öllu)
Topped with pylsusinnep (a sweet brown mustard), and rémoulade (a condiment made of mayonnaise mixed with capers, mustard, herbs, anchovies and gherkins)
South Africa (Boerie Rolls)
Infused with spices like nutmeg, cloves, and coriander seed, which give it a wintry taste that pairs well with its usual toppings of chutney, mustard, and tomato relish
Wrapped in a Thai Crepe and Topped with Sweet Chili Sauce
United Kingdom (Banger)
With sauteed Onion Gravy on a Bun
It’s really just a Corn Dog… c’mon Australia!