A Hot dog is not just food to me, but a way of life. I love hotdogs and have spent most of my life enjoying them and finding recipes to use them in, everything from soup to pizza. My family at times has thought I was crazy and a little off, but I am willing to accept that as long as I can continue to enjoy a good dog. I now have the pleasure of watching my kids join me in my pursuit of the perfect recipe. We have instituted Hot Dog night once a week to try a new way to enjoy our favorite food. I do have to take the credit for that suggestion but it was passed unanimously by my advisory board who all have 7 years of life experience to draw from, when making such world changing decisions.
My life long dream was to own a hot dog restaurant, so I began looking for information on how to do that. What I found was that to get the information I was looking for I had to visit several different websites and directories to find it. That's when I decided to put it all in one place to make it easier for me and anyone else like me to find what they were looking for. I am not a business guru or expert on any subject other than my love for all american frankfurter. My desire is that i can continue to find more recipes, vendors, brands and hot dog lovers who will join me to build a site that is fun, entertaining and informative. Mostly I just want to share my love of my favorite and what I believe to be the perfect food.
What's so special about a hot dog? I say everything, it is an all American classic. How many other foods have a month all it's own? I don't know of a pumpkin pie month, although I would be all for it, or even a national hamburger month, the other summer food. What about another food with special events held all around the country to show off it's versatility and variety? Sure you have pie eating contest or strawberry festivals but non on a national level. There are national hotdog eating contest, with the most famous being held by Nathan's, and Even the people in Washington DC come together and agree on one thing every year , the annual hot dog luncheon. You can't pass a fair or amusement park that doesn't have at least one stand dedicated a great wiener and what about those amazing cart vendors in almost every city or town. Call it what you will a Hot Dog, Frankfuter, Weiner, Red Hot or Tube Steak but you can not deny it's popularity, versatility or position in the American culture.
The hot dog is everywhere in our culture, from commercials, movie concessions promos, it's use as slang, it's own wiener mobile and it's ongoing marriage to our national pastime. From the history of the Hotdog, to how Baseball and the Frankfurter became so intertwined, as well from when the first one was made, to how it got the name, where it was created, who first put it in a bun and how the industry got started. These are all questions that stories and books have been written about. Even one of the worlds most iconic figures very first words were "Hot dogs,Hot dogs" any ideas? there is even a national televised sporting event every year shown on ESPN all about the hot dog. You would be hard pressed to find some in this country and even most of the world who hasn't eaten a hot dog and very few who do not like them, even my mother n law likes them but they have to be one step away from charcoal. They have been eaten and enjoyed by everyone from kings to paupers and factory workers to Presidents. There are very few areas of america where the hot dog does not have some impact.
One of the great things about the frankfurter is it's versatility and how it can be adapted to every-persons individual preferences, some even push the limits of acceptability by using ketchup, See you can even show your rebellious side. Everyone has their own choice of toppings and even different regions of the country have very unique variations to this all american food and recipes that are ingrained into their culture. From the Chicago dog, to the Naked dog, to the Coney dog and also the Sonoran Dog. There is a variation to satisfy any taste buds and if not, you can create one yourself and share it with us! There are so many recipes that utilize the great taste and texture of your favorite frank to create new and exciting dishes that maybe one night a week is not enough, I might need to bring this up at our next board meeting.
When I first started looking into the hot dog universe I did not have any idea how many different brands or styles of wieners there were. I knew there was a lot but never in my wildest dreams did I realize how much taste testing I still have to do, what a great problem to have! Then once you get past all the brands then you have all the variations within the brands. From natural casing, skinless and kosher. Then we have all beef, wieners and frankfurters but do not let us forget 5 to 1 , 10 to 1, 4 to 1, what the heck? I thought this would be simple, buy a hot dog and eat it, silly me. The one thing I have learned is that there is much more to the hot dog than meets the eye and I for one am glad, it gives me more reasons to enjoy them. There are way to many ways to count the types, sizes and variations, but it will be fun to try and with your help we will.
An entire industry has grown up around the HotDog that puts a lot of other business segments to shame. From little corner stands to full-fledged restaurants. The business side of the wiener is booming and is almost recession proof, which is more than most other businesses can say.. It is estimated that over 20 billion are eaten every year, that's almost 70 hot dogs per person per year, I have met my quota already, have you? With just some basic math and knowing that the average price per hot dog sold is between $1 to $2 that would be $20 to $40 billion a year just from a hot dog.
Outside of the hot dog itself selling carts, cooking equipment, condiments, costumes and how to information makes almost as much income if not more than the wiener itself. What about the draw of hot dogs and Baseball( my two favorite things) nearly every stadium has it's own signature dog that is used to promote the team and concessions. You would be hard pressed in any major city across the country not to find a local vendor with his cart on the side of the road. In some places such as New York you can find them on almost every corner selling there own special dog with a unique twist or just a great tasting traditional frank, either way it is good eats! The wiener business has become big business, while still giving everyone an opportunity to be a part, from the one man hot dog cart to the boardroom of a fortune 500 company the Frankfurter is helping fulfill the american dream. maybe we should get "Diggity" to run for President!
So hopefully as you can see to me there is much more to our summertime favorite than just a bun and some mustard. The hot dog offers so much more than just a quick kids food or even to some a bad diet choice, to me any diet without a hot dog is a bad choice but that's me. From the recipes to the business aspects and the cultural impact the hot dog is so much more! Anyone would have a very hard time finding another food that has influenced our culture as much. My desire is to share my love of hotdogs, have some fun, entertain a little bit and if at all possible share some information. As you go through the site my hope is you will help me to add information, recipes and reviews to help other visitors to learn, have fun and grow to appreciate the Hot Dog, as I do, for the amazing,versatile,delicious,adaptable,economical, all American icon that it is.