It's the End of National Hot Dog Month

July 31, 2012 2:45 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Hot Dogs
Hot dogs. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Dear readers, it is our severe misfortune to report that National Hot Dog Month is coming to an end. A lot of you out there were probably celebrating without even knowing you were doing so. Others will be surprised to find that hot dogs eaten between August and June don't quite have that extra celebratory oomph to them, even if those eaters can't exactly put their fingers on why. But since you're in the know, you should really double down on it. Here's everything you need to know about the hot dog.

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This is sort of a no-brainer, but Wikipedia defines a hot dog as a "sausage served in a slice bun." Even if that seems obvious, it's an interesting distinction between the sausage served without the bun and a sausage served with one. According to the good folks at Wikipedia, as well as various experts, it takes the two pieces of bread cradling the sausage to make a good ole' fashioned, denotative hot dog. Everything else is a lackluster approximation.

And harder still to glean is the truth behind the invention of the hot dog. The word frankfurter comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where meat sausages served in a style similar to hot dogs were born as early as the 13th century. They were given to people to mark imperial coronations. As long as we're in Europe, the word Wiener refers to Vienna, Austria, or Wien as it is in german, which is the birthplace of a sausage treat made from pork and beef. But it wasn't until the 1870s in Coney Island that Charles Feltman, a German ex-pat, started selling these sausages in a roll.

There are other stories of hot dogs popping up at the World's Fair in St. Louis, but those come much later.

Our favorite way to eat the dog? Slice the sausage down the middle length-wise, stuff it with diced pineapple, chopped jalapenos, and pastrami, and serve with good ketchup. That's our idea of a good time.

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