Up to the time of the St. Louis Worlds Fair of 1904 the vendors who sold hot sausages, which we know as wieners, gave white gloves to their customers because the wieners were too hot.
Many customers did not return the gloves after eating. A certain vendor at the fair lost all his gloves by noon and was lamenting this luck to a baker friend who made a supply of elongated rolls baked to fit the wiener. Thus, the ‘hot dog’ was born, but not yet named.
Several years later a cartoonist in New York City drew a sketch about a talking sausage complete with a foot and a tail. Hawkers at the Polo grounds previously had pitched their tent by yelling ‘red hot dachshund sausages’ but now inspired by the cartoon whey began to cry out “hot dogs … hot dogs … hot dogs.” Today hot dogs are one of the top selling meat products and millions of pounds are sold each year in North America.
Hot dogs are versatile critters. They are great around the campfire. First you find a stick and sharpen it just right so it can slip into one end and out the other, or just stick it through the middle. Then you get to carefully choose just the right spot in the campfire to cook the dog they way you want it done. It’s amazing, though, how many eat their dogs a little on the black side.
I never knew people really ate charcoal. Especially children. Kids don’t care how hot dogs are cooked — just get em done and lots of mustard, ketchup, onions or whatever, then gobble them down. Kids can live on hot dogs.
Can you go to a football game or baseball, without having a dog. I have because of the ‘tradition.’
Old Empire Stadium used to sell soggy foot-long hot dogs you could load them with everything. They weren’t good and when you were being jostled by other spectators doing the same thing it usually meant that you would wear part of the dog before you got back to your seat. But I just had to have one, it was part of the game. Let’s hear one for the hot dog.
Bye for now and Goood Cooking.
Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.