Hot Dog Month is celebrated throughout all of July, with Chili Dog Day celebrated on the last Thursday. This means all month long people are finding even more reasons to consume hot dogs in all their grilled, boiled, or fried glory, as well as the delicious toppings that complement them.
Hot Dog Month: It’s Origin
So why celebrate hot dogs when they’re already such a popular food? The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council—yes, there is such a thing—deemed July Hot Dog Month because an average of 155 million hot dogs will be eaten during the 4th of July weekend alone.
The council shares even more fun facts about hot dogs. Did you know that the average American adult eats about 60 hot dogs every year? Are you one of them?
What Are Hot Dogs Made of?
Did you know that the hot dog is considered to be one of the most loved, yet also the most misunderstood foods around? This all stems from the fact that not everyone knows just exactly what’s inside a hot dog.
So what are hot dogs made of? According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, they are comprised of “specially selected meat trimmings”. In recent years this has become less frightening than it sounds. The Department of Agriculture has cracked down on hot dog manufacturers, insisting that the meat be leaner than in previous years and made from muscle.
The law states that up to 3.5 percent of a hot dog’s innards may be comprised of non-meat ingredients, but even this isn’t as bad as it sounds. The 3.5 percent is typically made up of milk or soy products.
Even though hot dogs tend to be relatively high in both fat and sodium, what many people overlook is that they are a good source of protein and iron, as well as several necessary vitamins. Good reasons to consume several during Hot Dog Month! While they might not be the kind of food you should eat every single day, the occasional hot dog—or maybe even two—are really quite benign.
Where Did Hot Dogs Get Their Name?
Why is a hot dog called a hot dog? The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council thinks it’s especially important for people to know some hot dog history before the calendar flips over to July–and Hot Dog Month.
The term “hot dog” stems from a sports cartoonist named Tad Dorgan. Back in 1901, as a baseball game was played at the Polo Grounds in New York, vendors sold hot dachshund sausages in rolls to fans.
“Get your dachshund sausages while they’re red hot!” the vendors called out to the people in the stands.
Tad Dorgan drew a cartoon depicting the scene, but he didn’t know how to spell the word “dachshund.” Therefore, he dubbed the sausages “hot dogs”.
What Do People Dress Their Hot Dogs with?
Hot Dog Month isn’t just profitable for those who make hot dogs. Those who make the condiments with which we dress our hot dogs rake in considerable dough as well.
Mustard is the most popular of all condiments. It’s also the source of many messes during Hot Dog Month. Since mustard is known for its spicy taste—as well as its propensity toward soiling or staining anything besides the hot dog that it comes into contact with—maybe hiring a maid service for the month of July is a good idea. After mustard, ketchup and relish are next in line as the most popular hot dog condiments. Other popular items include onions, sauerkraut, and cheese.
Chili Dog Day
During Hot Dog Month, another popular delicacy is enjoyed to the extent that it gets its own day of celebration. Chili Dog Day falls on July 28th this year. You haven’t lived if you’ve never eaten a chili dog.
A chili dog is exactly what its name implies. It is a hot dog smothered with chili. Probably the all-time messiest of all hot dogs, maid service will definitely come in handy after a family consumes this spicy, but delicious treat.
Best eaten with a knife and fork (although some maintain no hot dog should ever be eaten this way), the chili dog is usually garnished with chopped onions and shredded cheddar cheese.
If all this talk about hot dogs and chili dogs has made you hungry, rest assured you’re not alone. And during Hot Dog Month, millions of Americans will partake of the meat product also known as “tube steak” in massive quantities.
Will you be among them? Do you prefer a regular hot dog or a chili dog? Will you celebrate Hot Dog Month and/or Chili Dog Day?
Another recommended read: Tips & Tricks for Quick Family Meal Planning.