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What happened to tasty hot dogs?
Guest Columnist
hot dog
A hot dog dressed out just right can be a thing of beauty. - photo by Stock photo

Come to think of it, what did happen to hot dogs?
Hamburgers still are around, but not hot dogs. Both were the sandwich of the day until another ancient dish, the pizza, came along. You can find a pizza parlor on every street corner. Today, of course, the pizza has far more status. Why?  
You have to search for a place that makes hot dogs. Oh, you can find some forms of hot dog in just about any place, like grocery stores and others, but not the hot dog I tasted as a kid.
But then maybe, just maybe, my taste buds have never changed.
I can remember, in growing up, hearing my aunt many times saying, “Go to the restaurant and get us some hot dogs.” The restaurant operator would reach into a steaming kettle, pull out a hot-dog roll, reach into a boiling pot, take out a dog and place it on the roll, spread some mustard, real soupy chili and onions, and carefully wrap them in special-made wax paper.
There they were, steaming with a delicious aroma. How many of us can remember that?
Hot dogs still are my favorite, and I’m in a constant search for a place that makes a good one — the kind that I knew as a kid. The places that make hot dogs today appear to have lost or removed those special combinations of ingredients that made it a hot dog. I have never heard it called anything other than just a plain hot dog — not frankfurter, wiener, red-hots, durger or coneys, but just a plain hot dog. It was one of the first dishes I was introduced to in my childhood days.
What made such a sandwich become so desired? It must have had something going for it, like those special condiments that stimulate the taste buds.
I would wager that in Germany, for example, you can order what we call a hot dog, and it probably would take you back to your childhood. The hot dogs made in America have been revised so many times that they’re hardly recognized as the ancient dish.
Let’s take a look at its origin, which goes back a long way.
According to, during the 13th century, the name “frankfurter” originated in Frankfort, Germany. It was simply a sausage, a highly seasoned, minced pork, given to the people during the event of imperial coronations of royal individuals.  
Down through the centuries, this simple sausage took on several other names. The name “wiener,” for instance, was a sausage that originated in Vienna, Austria. Today, in most all German countries, however, these sausages are called “wieners.”
Of all the names this sausage has taken on, how about the term “dog”? How did it get into the picture?
There are several legends and myths about the development of the hot dog. According to one legend, per, around 1880, a street vendor in St. Louis, Missouri, provided gloves for his customers so they wouldn’t burn their hands when handling his hot sausages. His costumers failed to return the gloves and he was losing money, until his wife suggested placing the sausage on a bun.
And so, during the evolution of the hot dog, it was a natural thing to put this sausage on what we call today a hot-dog roll. One may conclude that had this not occurred, the sausages called the frankfurter, the wiener, the red-hot, the durger, or the coneys would not have made the grade.
It was not until around the year 1870, according to, that the hot dog made its way to Coney Island, New York. The rest is history.

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