american hot dog

The American Dog

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, that is a real thing), more than 150 million hot dogs are consumed in America on the 4 July alone, Independence Day in America. And there is also the American dog season, which coincides with the summer months of the northern hemisphere, when 7 billion hot dogs are consumed. That’s 818 hot dogs per second. The council also has a comprehensive list of hot dog etiquette, a guide to what beer to serve with what type of sausage, how sausages are made and a host of other interesting information for sausage lovers.

american hot dog

The American Dog town twists

Nearly every town in America has their own version of the simple hot dog. Here are some of the greats:

  • New Yorkers prefer the simpler version of the dog from a street cart, topped with mustard and onions stewed in tomato paste.
  • Kosher dogs are griddled, smeared with mustard and topped with sauerkraut.
  • In Atlanta, a dog is ‘dragged through the garden’, meaning it is filled with coleslaw or other garden vegetables.
  • A Chicago-style hot dog is dressed with yellow mustard, chopped onions, sliced tomato, dill pickle, bright green sweet pickle relish, medium-hot green chilli peppers and celery salt on a poppy seed bun.
  • In Maine, the sausages are called Red Snappers for their shocking bright red colour and due to the snap you get when eating these natural casings.
  • Detroit boasts the famous Coney Island, smothered in beef mince chilli, raw onion, yellow mustard and grated cheddar.
  • From Los Angeles down to Mexico you can find a grilled bacon-wrapped sausage topped with Mexican flavours such as beans, chopped tomatoes, onions, mustard, mayonnaise, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, guacamole, salsa verde and sour cream.
  • Even Hawaii has jumped on the train and produces a Puka dog, with a grilled Polish sausage topped with hot sauce, mustard and mango or pineapple relish.

Some of the more bizarre toppings for hot dogs include things like mac and cheese; grilled apple and cheddar; peanut butter, bbq sauce, bacon, cheese and popcorn; duck bacon, battered deep fried mild chillies and a poached egg; smoked watermelon, avocado, lemon aioli and sprouts; sour cream, orange segments, lemon zest and shaved coconut, black dogs coloured with squid ink or bamboo charcoal powder; or a really expensive footlong made with Kobe beef infused with century-old cognac. A step too far perhaps, and we haven’t even touched on the types of sausage!

The Gardener