One of America’s Favorites – Chili Dog

November 30, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A chili-cheese dog with fries

Chili dog is the generic name for a hot dog served in a bun and topped with some sort of meat sauce, such as chili con carne. Often other toppings are also added, such as cheese, onions, and mustard. The style has multiple regional variations in the United States, many calling for specific and unique sauce ingredients, types of hot dogs, or types of buns and referred to regionally under region-specific names.

Texas weiner
In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the “Texas hot dog”, “Texas chili dog.” “Texas hot’,” or “Texas wiener” is a hot dog with chili or hot sauce; it is served in variations with assorted condiments. The Texas wiener was created in Paterson, New Jersey, before 1920 and in Altoona, Pennsylvania, by Peter “George” Koufougeorgas in 1918 and originally called Texas Hot Wieners. The “Texas” reference is to the chili sauce used on the dogs, which actually has a stronger Greek cuisine influence due to the ethnicity of the cooks who invented it. It is considered a unique regional hot dog style. From its origins, the invention spread to the Pennsylvania cities of Scranton and Philadelphia. By the 1920s, it had reached Western New York, where numerous long standing hot dog stands still remain, including a stand run by the Rigas Family (dating to 1921) and Ted’s Hot Dogs (which opened in 1927).

Coney Island hot dog
In southeastern Michigan, a Coney Island hot dog is a European-style Frankfurter Würstel (Vienna sausage) of German origin with a natural lamb or sheep casing, topped with a beef heart-based sauce, which was developed by Macedonian and Greek immigrants in the area. It has several local variations, including Detroit style, Flint style, and Jackson style.

A Flint-style Coney Island hot dog

Hot wiener
In Rhode Island the hot wiener or New York System wiener is a staple of the food culture and is served at “New York System” restaurants. The traditional wiener is made with a small, thin hot dog made of veal and pork, giving it a different taste from a traditional beef hot dog, served in a steamed bun, and topped with celery salt, yellow mustard, chopped onions, and a seasoned meat sauce.

Michigan hot dog
In the North Country of New York State, a Michigan hot dog, or “Michigan”, is a steamed hot dog on a steamed bun topped with a meaty sauce, generally referred to as “Michigan sauce.”

Cheese coneys

Cheese coneys
In Greater Cincinnati, Cheese coneys or Coney Islands (without the cheese) are hot dogs in buns topped with Cincinnati chili (a Greek-inspired meat sauce), onions, mustard, and cheese.

Carolina style
In North Carolina, hot dogs topped with chili, onions, and either mustard or slaw are referred to as “Carolina style”, which is also used to refer to hamburgers with similar toppings.

Half-smoke

In Washington, D.C., the half-smoke is similar to a hot dog, but usually larger, spicier, and with more coarsely-ground meat, the sausage is often half-pork and half-beef, smoked, and served with herbs, onion, and chili sauce.

A half smoke

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Hot Dog

October 1, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A cooked hot dog in a bun with mustard

The hot dog or dog (also spelled hotdog) is a grilled or steamed link-sausage sandwich where the sausage is served in the slit of a special hot dog bun, a partially sliced bun. It can also refer to just the sausage (the wurst or wörst) of its composition. Typical sausages include wiener (Vienna sausage), frankfurter (or frank), or knackwurst. The names of these sausages also commonly refer to their assembled sandwiches. Typical condiments include mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, and relish, and common garnishes include onions, sauerkraut, chili, cheese, coleslaw, and olives. Hot dog variants include the corn dog and pigs in a blanket. The hot dog’s cultural traditions include the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Although schnitzel does not commonly refer to a link sausage, the fast food restaurant Wienerschnitzel is famous for its hot dogs.

These types of sausages and their sandwiches were culturally imported from Germany and popularized in the United

Carts selling frankfurters in New York City, circa 1906.

States, where the “hot dog” became a working-class street food sold at hot dog stands and carts. The hot dog became closely associated with baseball and American culture. Hot dog preparation and condiments vary regionally in the US. Although particularly connected with New York City and its cuisine, the hot dog eventually became ubiquitous throughout the US during the 20th century, and emerged as an important part of other regional cuisines (notably Chicago street cuisine).

Claims about the invention of the hot dog are difficult to assess, as different stories assert different origin points for the distinction between hot dogs and other similar foods. The history of the dish may begin with the creation of the sausage, with the placing of the sausage on bread or a bun as finger food, with the popularization of the existing dish, or with the application of the name “hot dog” to a sausage and bun combination most commonly used with ketchup or mustard and sometimes relish.

The word “frankfurter” comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages similar to hot dogs originated. These sausages, Frankfurter Würstchen, were known since the 13th century and given to the people on the event of imperial coronations, starting with the coronation of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor as King. “Wiener” refers to Vienna, Austria, whose German name is “Wien”, home to a sausage made of a mixture of pork and beef. Johann Georg Lahner, an 18th/19th century butcher from the Franconian city of Coburg, is said to have brought the Frankfurter Würstchen to Vienna, where he added beef to the mixture and simply called it Frankfurter. Nowadays, in German-speaking countries, except Austria, hot dog sausages are called Wiener or Wiener Würstchen (Würstchen means “little sausage”), in differentiation to the original pork-only mixture from Frankfurt. In Swiss German, it is called Wienerli, while in Austria the terms Frankfurter or Frankfurter Würstel are used.

Others are credited with first serving hot dogs on rolls. A German immigrant named Feuchtwanger, from Frankfurt, in Hesse, allegedly pioneered the practice in the American midwest; there are several versions of the story with varying

Grilled hot dogs

details. According to one account, Feuchtwanger’s wife proposed the use of a bun in 1880: Feuchtwanger sold hot dogs on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri, and provided gloves to his customers so that they could handle the sausages without burning their hands. Losing money when customers did not return the gloves, Feuchtwanger’s wife suggested serving the sausages in a roll instead. In another version, Antoine Feuchtwanger, or Anton Ludwig Feuchtwanger, served sausages in rolls at the World’s Fair – either at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, or, earlier, at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, in Chicago – again, allegedly because the white gloves provided to customers to protect their hands were being kept as souvenirs.

Another possible origin for serving the sausages in rolls is the pieman Charles Feltman, at Coney Island in New York City. In 1867 he had a cart made with a stove on which to boil sausages, and a compartment to keep buns fresh in which they were served. In 1871 he leased land to build a permanent restaurant, and the business grew, selling far more than just the “Coney Island Red Hots” as they were known.

In 1916, a Polish American employee of Feltman’s named Nathan Handwerker was encouraged by Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante, both working as waiters/musicians, to go into business in competition with his former employer. Handwerker undercut Feltman’s by charging five cents for a hot dog when his former employer was charging ten.

At an earlier time in food regulation, when the hot dog was suspect, Handwerker made sure that men wearing surgeon’s smocks were seen eating at Nathan’s Famous to reassure potential customers.

Common hot dog ingredients include:

Meat trimmings and fat, e.g. mechanically separated meat, pink slime, meat slurry

Hot dog garnished with ketchup and onions

Flavorings, such as salt, garlic, and paprika
Preservatives (cure) – typically sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite
Pork and beef are the traditional meats used in hot dogs. Less expensive hot dogs are often made from chicken or turkey, using low-cost mechanically separated poultry. Typical hot dog ingredients contain sodium, saturated fat and nitrite, which when consumed in excess have been linked to health problems. Changes in meat technology and dietary preferences have led manufacturers to use turkey, chicken, vegetarian meat substitutes, and to lower the salt content.

Commercial preparation
Hot dogs are prepared commercially by mixing the ingredients (meats, spices, binders and fillers) in vats where rapidly moving blades grind and mix the ingredients in the same operation. This mixture is forced through tubes into casings for cooking. Most hot dogs sold in the US are “skinless” as opposed to more expensive “natural casing” hot dogs.

Natural-casing hot dogs
As with most sausages, hot dogs must be in a casing to be cooked. Traditional casing is made from the small

A hot dog bun toaster

intestines of sheep. The products are known as “natural casing” hot dogs or frankfurters. These hot dogs have firmer texture and a “snap” that releases juices and flavor when the product is bitten.

Kosher casings are expensive in commercial quantities in the US, so kosher hot dogs are usually skinless or made with reconstituted collagen casings.

Skinless hot dogs
“Skinless” hot dogs must use a casing in the cooking process when the product is manufactured, but the casing is usually a long tube of thin cellulose that is removed between cooking and packaging. This process was invented in Chicago in 1925 by Erwin O. Freund, founder of Visking which would later become Viskase Companies.

The first skinless hot dog casings were produced by Freund’s new company under the name “Nojax”, short for “no jackets” and sold to local Chicago sausage makers.

Skinless hot dogs vary in the texture of the product surface but have a softer “bite” than natural casing hot dogs. Skinless hot dogs are more uniform in shape and size than natural casing hot dogs and less expensive.

Home consumption
A hot dog (wiener) is prepared and served in various ways. Reheated (for food safety purposes) by any of several

A “home-cooked” hot dog with ketchup, mustard, raw onion, fried onion, artificial bacon bits, and pickle relish

methods, it is boiled, grilled, fried, steamed, broiled, baked, microwaved, toasted, and even electro-shocked (Presto Hot Dogger). Typically it is served on a hot-dog bun with prepared mustard (and optionally with choices of many other condiments), or several may be sliced laterally into bite-size pieces and used for protein in other dishes, such as rice, beans, soup or a casserole. There are many appliances dedicated (or that lend themselves) to the reheating of wieners and the warming of hot-dog buns.

In the US, the term “hot dog” refers to both the sausage by itself and the combination of sausage and bun. Many nicknames applying to either have emerged over the years, including frankfurter, frank, wiener, weenie, coney, and red hot. Annually, Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs.

Hot dog restaurants
Hot dog stands and trucks sell hot dogs at street and highway locations. Wandering hot dog vendors sell their product in baseball parks. At convenience stores, hot dogs are kept heated on rotating grills. 7-Eleven sells the most grilled hot dogs in North America — 100 million annually. Hot dogs are also common on restaurants’ children’s menus.

Hot dogs are commonly served with one or more condiments. In 2005, the US-based National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (part of the American Meat Institute) found mustard to be the most popular, preferred by 32% of respondents; 23% favored ketchup; 17% chili con carne; 9% pickle relish, and 7% onions. Other toppings include sauerkraut, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and chili peppers.

Condiment preferences vary across the U.S.. Southerners showed the strongest preference for chili, while Midwesterners showed the greatest affinity for ketchup.

Variations
An endless list of hot dog variations has emerged. The original king, known today as a “New York dog” or “New York style”, is a natural casing all-beef frank topped with sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard, onions optional. Sauteed bell peppers, onions, and potatoes find their way into New Jersey’s deep-fried Italian hot dog. In the midwest, the Chicago-style hot dog reigns, served on a poppyseed bun and topped with mustard, fresh tomatoes, onions, “sport peppers”, bright green relish, dill pickles, and celery salt.

Many variations are named after regions other than the one in which they are popular. Meaty Michigan hot dogs are popular in upstate New York (as are white hots), while beefy Coney Island hot dogs are popular in Michigan. Hot wieners, or weenies, are a staple in Rhode Island where they are sold at restaurants with the misleading name “New York System.” Texas hot dogs are spicy variants found in upstate New York and Pennsylvania (and as “all the way dogs” in New Jersey), but not Texas.

Some baseball parks have signature hot dogs, such as Dodger Dogs at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and Fenway Franks at Fenway Park in Boston, which are boiled then grilled,[citation needed] and served on a New England-style bun.

The world’s longest hot dog created was 197 ft), which rested within a 198 ft bun. The hot dog was prepared by Shizuoka Meat Producers for the All-Japan Bread Association, which baked the bun and coordinated the event, including official measurement for the world record. The hot dog and bun were the center of a media event in celebration of the Association’s 50th anniversary on August 4, 2006, at the Akasaka Prince Hotel, Tokyo, Japan.

A hot dog prepared by head chef Joe Calderone in Manhattan sold for $69 during the National Hot Dog Day in 2010, making it the most expensive hot dog sold at the time. The hot dog was topped with truffle oil, duck foie gras, and truffle butter.

On May 31, 2012, Guinness World Records certified the world record for most expensive hot dog at $145.49. The

A Coney Island hot dog with chili, onion, and mustard

“California Capitol City Dawg”, served at Capitol Dawg in Sacramento, California, features a grilled 18 in all-beef in natural casing frank from Chicago, served on a fresh baked herb and oil focaccia roll, spread with white truffle butter, then grilled. The record breaking hot dog is topped with a whole grain mustard from France, garlic and herb mayonnaise, sauteed chopped shallots, organic mixed baby greens, maple syrup marinated/fruitwood smoked uncured bacon from New Hampshire, chopped tomato, expensive moose cheese from Sweden, sweetened dried cranberries, basil olive oil/pear-cranberry-coconut balsamic vinaigrette, and ground peppercorn. Proceeds from the sale of each 3 lb super dog are donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

 

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