Kingsport Times-News: Hot dogs! Get your hot dogs!
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Hot dogs! Get your hot dogs!

J. H. Osborne • Jul 2, 2019 at 1:28 PM

July is National Hot Dog Month. And it's a fitting time to celebrate one of America's favorite foods. During peak hot dog season, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans are expected to consume 7 billion hot dogs.

And on Thursday, Independence Day, Americans’ celebrations of Independence Day will include the eating of 150 million hot dogs, enough to stretch from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles more than five times.

All that is according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, which is celebrating its own 25th anniversary. In honor of that anniversary and in celebration of National Hot Dog Month, the NHDSC has teamed up with the Beef Checkoff to share 25 hot dog facts and 25 quotes about hot dogs.

"At the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, we’ve learned that Americans’ appetite for hot dog facts is nearly as great as their appetite for hot dogs themselves," NHDSC Hot Dog Top Dog Eric Mittenthal said in a press release issued last week. "Today there are hot dogs for everyone with millions of different possible hot dog and topping combinations that meet a broad spectrum of nutrition needs, tastes, budgets and personal preferences."

According to the NHDSC, folklore suggests that hot dogs first became popular in the United States when a German immigrant began selling them from a cart in the Bowery district of New York City. In 1871, Charles Feltman opened the first Coney Island hot dog stand, and their popularity grew and spread south, where the first sausage was served at a baseball park in 1893, creating the bond between hot dogs and baseball.

Some facts:

• A hot dog is not a sandwich.

• In 2018, consumers spent more than $3 billion on hot dogs in U.S. supermarkets.

• Mickey Mouse’s first on-screen words were, “Hot Dog!”

• President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt served hot dogs to King George and Queen Elizabeth. The king ate two.

• Americans say the celebrity they’d most like to enjoy a hot dog with is 97-year-old Betty White, who ate a hot dog every day on the set of her television show “Hot in Cleveland.”

The full list of 25 facts plus 25 quotes about hot dogs are available at www.hot-dog.org.

Some etiquette

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council includes a full guide for etiquette in an online video, but here are just a few tips and tricks to get you through National Hot Dog Month:

• Don’t put hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always “dress the dog,” not the bun. Condiments should be applied in the following order: wet condiments like mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments like relish, onions and sauer-kraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.

• Do eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.

• Don’t take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For a foot-long wiener, seven bites are acceptable.

• Do lick away condiments remaining on the fingers after eating a hot dog.

• Don’t use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.

Some quotes:

• "I always look for a hot dog wherever I go." — Martha Stewart

• "Some people wanted champagne and caviar when they should have had beer and hot dogs." — President Dwight D. Eisenhower

• "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." — Humphrey Bogart

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