National Hot Dog Month
How fitting is it that July is also National Hot Dog Month? Hot dogs are a huge part of cookouts all over the country during July to celebrate America’s independence. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans consume approximately 155 million hot dogs during July 4th weekend.
Hot dogs are one of our country’s most loved comfort foods and are a staple for summer cookouts. How did the popular meat product get its name? Apparently, sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan coined the term at a New York baseball game in 1901. They were originally called hot dachshund sausages, and Dorgan was inspired to sketch a cartoon depicting vendors passing them out at the game. However, he wasn’t sure how to spell “dachshund” so he called them “hot dogs” instead and the term stuck.
Ever wondered what exactly a hot dog is made of? The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council officially refers to hot dogs as “specially selected meat trimmings”. By law, hot dogs can contain up to 3.5% of non-meat ingredients, so at least you know that the majority of it is actual meat. Although they are typically high in sodium, they can also be a good source of protein and iron.
It’s highly likely that you’ll be offering hot dogs at your summer cookout, but why stop there? Here are a few interesting ways you can up your cookout game and celebrate National Hot Dog Month:
- Host a hot dog eating contest with fun prizes such as gift cards or goodie baskets.
- Decorate your backyard like an old-time fair complete with bright vintage table linens and easy carnival games like balloon darts or ring tosses.
- If your cookout is late in the evening, make it an outdoor movie night and add candy and popcorn!
- Roast hot dogs over a fire pit for a camping feel.
Ketchup and mustard are of course the most common condiments to add to a hot dog, but consider offering these options as well:
- Pickle spears
- Barbecue sauce
- Hot sauce
- Steak sauce
- Green onions
You can always come up with your own unique twists to hot dogs as well. No matter how you choose to celebrate National Hot Dog Month, make it your own and make memories with friends and family!