How did hot dogs get that name, anyway?
Hot dogs are a staple of barbecues and holidays across America, but how did they get their name, anyway?
In her 2014 book The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites, historian Libby O’Connell writes that the hot dog was introduced at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, where a German salesman named Anton Ludwig Feuchtwanger sold sausages, with complimentary gloves lent out to eat them with. When people started stealing the gloves, he then moved to a long, narrow type of bread, which is how we got the bun and the basic hot dog as we know it.
It’s possible that “dog” was a slang term for sausages during the nineteenth century, Dictionary.com suggests, and that another term for the new food item (“along with “frankfurters” and “red hots”) were “Dachshund sausages.”
Another theory comes from a 1901 editorial cartoon in the Chicago Tribune by Tad Dugan, which depicted a Doxie inside a bun with a caption reading something along the lines of “one hot dog..”
Either way, no actual dog is used inside the meat, which generally consists of a pork-beef mixture. (Turkey and vegan options exist too.) This is largely because of the 1908 Pure Food Act, which came about thanks to public outcry after the release of the 1906 Upton Sinclair novel The Jungle. It’s also because eating animals like dogs and horses is thankfully frowned upon in most civilized societies.
Now they’re a staple of the backyard during parties during the summertime, and so make a delicious snack for sneaky dogs who are good at begging or swiping. But you have to be very careful that they don’t eat any of the onions on it, as they are highly toxic to canines.
Now, there’s just one question left…