Humphrey Bogart once famously declared, “A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.” While he was talking about baseball, there’s an entirely different type of ball game approaching this February — one equally suitable for sinking your teeth into this all-American food. We’re talking about the Super Bowl, of course, one of America’s most eagerly-awaited occasions for indulging in all of their favorite game day food. Plump, juicy, and bursting-with-flavor, hot dogs top the list of munchies for millions of Super Bowl viewers.
Here’s a closer look at the wonderful wiener — from its ancient origins to its modern-day status as an epic addition to any Super Bowl spread.
A Rich History
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC), sausage — the earliest ancestor of the hot dogs we know and love today –is the “oldest form of processed food.” Sausage dates so far back, in fact, that it was even mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey!
Many years later the hot dog came along, although no one can say with certainty where and when they originated. Many history buffs credit the German town of Frankfurt-am-Main with inventing the namesake frankfurter, while others attribute the creation of the “little-dog” or “dachshund” sausage to a Coburn, Germany butcher who, they say, later journeyed to Frankfurt to expand his market.
Even more surprisingly? Germany may not even be able to lay claim to creating the hot dog — not if Austria has anything to say about it, that is. According to the NHDSC,
“The people of Vienna (Wien), Austria, point to the term “wiener” to prove their claim as the birthplace of the hot dog.”
Regardless of where they originated, however, we do know that hot dogs eventually made their way to North America courtesy of immigrant butchers of several different nationalities. Eventually, someone had the genius idea of selling them nestled into buns, and history was made. According to the NHDSC, the first Coney Island hot dog stand — opened by a German baker in 1871 — sold a whopping 3,684 hot dogs in its initial year of business.
But that was just the start of the hot dog craze in America. By the turn of the century, sausages and hot dogs had become popular baseball park fare, and a culinary connection was forever made.
Hot Dogs and the Super Bowl
While baseball may first come to mind when we think of sports and hot dogs, football ranks right beside it. (There’s a reason why ketchup companies are willing to fork over the big bucks for plum advertising spots — even if putting ketchup on hot dogs is a hotly contested topic.)
According to an NJ.com article based on research provided by Metlife Stadium and a team of academics, more than 40,000 hot dogs and sausages were consumed during one recent Super Bowl. NJ.com also provided this eye-opening visual to help picture the magnitude of hot dog eating on Super Bowl Sunday:
“Stacked end-to-end, they’d stretch 4 miles high into the sky. (That’s 14 times higher than the Empire State Building.) Laid end-to-end on the ground, they’d run two-thirds of the way around Central Park.”
At last year’s Super Bowl, meanwhile, vendors debuted a $12 hot dog consisting of a “custom blend of 50 different ingredients” and topped with gold flakes.
Plump Up Your Party
But you don’t have to hold up Fort Knox to plump up your Super Bowl bash this year. Instead, step away from those ho-hum grocery store offerings and step up to serving some of the country’s finest frankfurters.
Whether you’re a hot dog purist and stick with the basics (slathered in onions and mustard, natch; gold flakes optional) or put a scrumptious spin on your menu by adding sausages, bratwurst, and kielbasa to your menu, it’s easier than ever to get your hands on the country’s best thanks to FoodyDirect.
This innovative gourmet mail order food company partners with world-famous butchers like Charlie’s Legendary Hot Dogs and Onions, Levis Hot Dogs, Pat LaFrieda Meats, Irving’s for Red Hot Lovers and Flannery Beef, as well as artisans like Jake’s Handcrafted, Brooklyn Bangers, and Sahlen’s Hot Dogs courtesy of Anderson’s Frozen Custard to bring you the the finest franks the country has to offer.
Feel like putting a tasty twist on tradition? Take a cue from Bleacher Report’s roundup of top 10 game day foods for Super Bowl watching parties and add some always-popular pigs in a blanket to your menu, while you’re at it.
One final reason to feature hot dogs on your Super Bowl menu this year? They’re the perfect meal for noshing with one hand while the other waves a giant foam finger in the air. For hot dogs, sausages, brats and endless other components of an unforgettable game day feast, shop FoodyDirect today.