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National Hot Dog Day (July 19)

Check out the weird holiday National Hot Dog Day on July 19. Learn about the history of hot dogs , and get ideas on how to celebrate.

One weird holiday on July 19 is National Hot Dog Day. Check out the other weird July holidays!

National Hot Dog Day is a beloved culinary holiday celebrated annually in the United States to honor one of America’s most iconic foods—the hot dog. This savory sausage, nestled in a soft bun and adorned with a variety of condiments, holds a special place in American culture, evoking memories of backyard barbecues, baseball games, and summer cookouts.

National Hot Dog Day provides an opportunity for people of all ages to indulge in this classic comfort food and celebrate its rich culinary heritage. Read on to learn all about the history of the hot dog, find out what exactly it’s made of, and get a list of delicious recipes you can make with hot dogs.

When is National Hot Dog Day?

National Hot Dog Day takes place each year on July 19th.

Who Invented National Hot Dog Day?

National Hot Dog Day, like many food-related holidays, doesn’t have a single inventor. Instead, it’s celebrated annually as a way to honor and enjoy one of America’s favorite summertime foods.

The origins of National Hot Dog Day can be traced back to the long-standing tradition of celebrating hot dogs during the summer months, particularly around the Fourth of July holiday. Over time, various organizations, including food industry groups, hot dog manufacturers, and promotional bodies, have embraced the idea of National Hot Dog Day as an opportunity to promote the consumption of hot dogs and celebrate their cultural significance.

While the exact origins of National Hot Dog Day as a formal holiday are unclear, it has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many restaurants, food retailers, and social media influencers joining in the festivities. Some cities even host special events, such as hot dog eating contests or food festivals, to mark the occasion.

Additionally, National Hot Dog Day often coincides with other food-related holidays, such as National Mustard Day or National Ice Cream Day, further adding to the celebration.

History of the Hot Dog

The history of hot dogs is as rich and diverse as the toppings we pile on them today. While the exact origins of the hot dog are debated, it’s widely believed that its roots trace back to the sausages of ancient civilizations. The concept of encasing seasoned meats in casings dates back thousands of years, with various cultures around the world developing their own versions of sausages. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that the modern hot dog as we know it began to take shape.

One popular theory suggests that the hot dog’s name and association with American culture can be traced back to German immigrants who brought their sausages, known as “frankfurters,” to the United States in the 1800s. These sausages were typically made from pork and beef and were served in buns at street carts and stands in cities like New York and Chicago. Another theory points to Charles Feltman, a German immigrant who is credited with selling the first hot dog on a bun from his Coney Island stand in the 1860s. Regardless of its precise origins, the hot dog quickly became a beloved American staple, synonymous with summertime picnics, ballgames, and backyard barbecues.

The hot dog’s popularity continued to grow throughout the 20th century, with iconic brands like Nathan’s Famous and Oscar Mayer becoming household names. Hot dog stands and carts became a ubiquitous sight in cities across the country, serving up steaming hot dogs with an array of toppings ranging from classic mustard and relish to more adventurous combinations. Today, the hot dog remains a beloved symbol of American cuisine, cherished for its simplicity, versatility, and timeless appeal.

The Anatomy of a Hot Dog

A typical hot dog consists of a grilled or boiled sausage made from a blend of meats, such as beef, pork, or a combination of both. The sausage is usually encased in a natural or synthetic casing and served in a soft, steamed or toasted bun.

Condiments and toppings vary widely based on regional preferences and personal taste, but common options include mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, sauerkraut, chili, cheese, and jalapenos.

The versatility of the hot dog allows for endless customization, making it a versatile and adaptable dish for any occasion.

Regional Variations and Specialties

Across the United States, different regions have put their own unique spin on the hot dog, resulting in a wide array of regional variations and specialties.

In Chicago, the classic Chicago-style hot dog is topped with mustard, chopped onions, sweet pickle relish, tomato slices, pickled sport peppers, a dill pickle spear, and celery salt, all served on a poppy seed bun.

In New York City, the iconic New York-style hot dog is typically topped with mustard, sauerkraut, and onions, although variations abound.

Other notable regional variations include the Detroit Coney Dog, the Sonoran Hot Dog of Arizona, and the Carolina-style slaw dog.

Some recipes will have you put hot dogs in them, like spaghetti, silly chili, and even macaroni and cheese (which can also be made in the instant pot).

Celebrating National Hot Dog Day

Here are some ideas you can use to celebrate National Hot Dog Day:

  1. Host a Hot Dog Barbecue: Fire up the grill and invite friends and family over for a hot dog barbecue. Set up a toppings bar with a variety of condiments, sauces, and toppings so everyone can customize their hot dogs to their liking.
  2. Try Gourmet Hot Dogs: Explore gourmet hot dog recipes and experiment with unique toppings and flavor combinations. From bacon-wrapped hot dogs to gourmet sausages and artisanal buns, there are endless possibilities to elevate your hot dog game.
  3. Visit a Hot Dog Stand: Take a trip to a local hot dog stand or food truck and indulge in some classic street food. Whether it’s a traditional Chicago-style hot dog or a regional specialty, there’s something special about enjoying a hot dog from a roadside vendor.
  4. Organize a Hot Dog Eating Contest: Challenge your friends or coworkers to a hot dog eating contest and see who can eat the most hot dogs in a set amount of time. Just make sure to have plenty of water and napkins on hand!
  5. Host a Hot Dog Tasting Party: Set up a tasting station with a variety of hot dogs from different regions or gourmet vendors. Encourage guests to sample and compare the different flavors and styles, and vote for their favorites.
  6. Try International Hot Dogs: Explore the world of international hot dogs by sampling hot dog variations from different countries. From the German currywurst to the Japanese terimayo, there are countless global takes on this beloved dish to discover.
  7. Make Homemade Hot Dog Buns: Put your baking skills to the test and make homemade hot dog buns from scratch. Not only will you impress your guests with your culinary prowess, but fresh, homemade buns will take your hot dogs to the next level.
  8. Create Hot Dog Art: Get creative with your hot dog presentation and turn your meal into a work of art. Use colorful condiments and toppings to create fun and whimsical designs, or arrange your hot dogs into creative shapes and patterns.
  9. Host a Hot Dog Movie Night: Plan a movie night with a hot dog-themed movie marathon. From classic comedies like “The Great Outdoors” to family favorites like “The Sandlot,” there’s no shortage of films featuring hot dogs as a central theme.
  10. Support a Local Charity: Use National Hot Dog Day as an opportunity to give back to your community by hosting a hot dog fundraiser or donating a portion of your sales to a local charity or food bank. It’s a delicious way to make a difference in the lives of others.

National Hot Dog Day is celebrated with gusto across the United States, with restaurants, food trucks, and home cooks alike joining in the festivities. Whether enjoyed at a backyard barbecue, a ballgame, or a neighborhood cookout, National Hot Dog Day brings people together to savor the simple pleasure of a delicious hot dog.

This year on July 19th, squirt some mustard and spread some relish to celebrate this culinary delight!

Recipe Ideas for National Hot Dog Day

Hot Dog Soup – Mighty Spatula
Oven Baked Hot Dogs – 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Hot Dog Fried Rice – The Quicker Kitchen
Authentic Chicago Style Hot Dogs | Hilda’s Kitchen Blog
Smoked Hot Dogs -> Easy Traeger/Smoker How To Guide – Crave The Good
Blue Cheese Hot Dogs – A Seasoned Greeting
Thanksgiving Leftover Burritos Recipe
Soft Sourdough Hot Dog Buns – Lynn’s Way of Life
Air Fryer Hot Dogs – Belly Full
Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs – Slow The Cook Down
Savory Moments: Grandpa’s hot dog sauce
Kimchi Hot Dogs – In the Kitch
California Style Hot Dogs – Cooking with Curls
Easy Air Fryer Pretzel Dogs
Homemade Hot Dog Buns – Baking Sense®
Authentic Chicago-Style Hot Dogs – Scarlati Family Kitchen
Pressure Cooker Coca-Cola® Chili – The Forked Spoon
Julia’s Southern Hot Dog Chili Sauce – Julias Simply Southern
Ultimate List of Hot Dog Toppings Bar Ideas – Fresh Flavorful
Skillet Hot Dog Chili | Syrup and Biscuits
Tortilla Hot Dog Wraps – A Cowboys Life
How to Make Chili Cheese Air Fryer Hot Dogs
Easy Oven Baked Chili Dogs with Cheese Recipe • The Fresh Cooky
Smoked Hot Dogs & Kraut – An Affair from the Heart
Bourbon Onion Bacon Dog – Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Seattle Hot Dogs with Roasted Red Peppers – Flavor Mosaic
The Ultimate Breakfast Hot Dog – Frugal Mom Eh!
Hot Dog Sliders Recipe [Mini Slider Buns] – Celebration Generation
Mexican Style Hot Dogs – Culinary Ginger
The Best Chili Cheese Dogs » Homemade Heather
Air Fryer Hot Dogs – 2 Cookin Mamas
Firecracker Hot Dogs – Boulder Locavore
Mexican Hot Dog Tacos | Flautas De Winnie | Mexican Made Meatless™
Healthy Homemade Corn Dogs – Hungry Hobby
The Best Air Fryer Hot Dogs • Keeping It Simple Blog
Vegan Chili Dogs
Crockpot Hot Dogs and Sauerkraut – The How-To Home
Easy Hot Dog Chili – Quiche My Grits
Hot Dog Week: Buffalo Chicken Dog – Fantabulosity
Classic Frank and Bean Casserole – Pam’s Daily Dish
Reuben Hot Dogs – Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
Best Air Fryer Hot Dogs Recipe [Video] – Sweet and Savory Meals
Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs with Fruit Salsa – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
How To Make Coney Island Hot Dogs Sauce Recipe – This Is How I Cook
Authentic Chicago Hot Dogs • legendary!

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