Hot dogs: 5 little-known facts

On Independence Day, Americans enjoy “the single largest hot dog day of the year,” Eric Mittenthal, the president of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (NHDSC) told Fox News Digital last year.

According to the council, Americans are expected to consume 150 million hot dogs on July 4 alone.

Here’s what else you need to know about hot dogs. 

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Americans eat billions of hot dogs all summer

The Fourth of July might be the most popular day for hot dogs, but Americans enjoy the dish all summer long

According to the NHDSC, Americans are expected to eat 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which is “peak hot dog season.”

Americans are expected to eat 7 billion hot dogs all summer, and 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July alone, the NHDSC reported. 

Americans are expected to eat 7 billion hot dogs all summer, and 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July alone, the NHDSC reported.  (iStock)

Supermarket sales in the U.S. for hot dogs were $ 2.8 billion in 2020. Mittenthal told Fox News Digital that number was up “considerably from 2019.” 

In 2021, Americans reportedly spent more than $ 7.5 billion on hot dogs and sausages in supermarkets, according to the NHDSC website. 

Last year at the Nathan’s Famous July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest, Joey Chestnut ate 76 dogs and buns – the record for most hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes. 

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Americans’ favorite hot dog topping is mustard

Last year at the start of hot dog season, the NHDSC published a survey that found Americans’ favorite hot dog topping is mustard

According to the survey, 68% of respondents chose mustard as their favorite topping, followed by 61% who preferred ketchup. 

However, the NHDSC’s rules of etiquette say that adults should not put ketchup on hot dogs.

Americans' favorite regional style of hot dog is New York style, which is an all-beef frank topped with steamed onions and yellow mustard, according to the NHDSC.

Americans’ favorite regional style of hot dog is New York style, which is an all-beef frank topped with steamed onions and yellow mustard, according to the NHDSC. (iStock)

Other favorite toppings included onions (44%), relish (41%), chili (30%), cheese (29%), sauerkraut (20%), mayonnaise (19%), bacon (14%), jalapeños (13%) and coleslaw (12%), according to the council’s survey.

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Last year, the NHDSC also found which regional hot dog style was preferred by Americans, with New Yorkstyle – an all-beef hot dog topped with steamed onions and yellow mustard — coming out on top, followed by Chicago style — an all-beef hot dog topped with yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onion, a pickle spear, sport peppers, tomato slices and celery salt, served in a poppy seed bun. 

Michigan Coneys – an all-beef hot dog topped with chili sauce, mustard and onion – came in third.

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Hot dogs come in different shapes

Meat delivery company Rastelli’s sells “round hot dogs,” which are flat, round patty-like hot dogs that can fit on a hamburger bun. 

The food innovation went viral on social media last year, leaving numerous Twitter users confused, Fox News Digital reported at the time. 

Rastelli's previously told Fox News Digital that the company decided to create round, flat hot dogs after getting requests from customers who wanted "pre-sliced" dogs.

Rastelli’s previously told Fox News Digital that the company decided to create round, flat hot dogs after getting requests from customers who wanted “pre-sliced” dogs. (Rastelli’s )

Though many people said the product looked just like bologna, Rastelli’s told Fox News Digital that it makes its round hot dogs differently from bologna. 

The company told Fox News Digital in a statement that it uses Black Angus Beef and Premium Pork, chopped together –  not fully emulsified or liquefied “like some traditional bologna” – and wrapped in a collagen casing and netting “to help hold shape,” the statement said.

Rastelli’s said it developed the product to prevent young children from possibly choking on traditional hot dog casings and to solve the problem of condiments “always falling off the hot dog when you take a bite,” the company told Fox News Digital.

 

Hot dogs are still not sandwiches

Mittenthal told Fox News Digital that even though this innovation can fit on a sandwich bun, hot dogs are still not sandwiches – something the NHDSC is adamant about on its website.

Americans' second favorite regional style of hot dog is Chicago style. Chicago hot dogs are all-beef franks topped with yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onion, a pickle spear, sport peppers, tomato slices and celery salt, served in a poppy seed bun.

Americans’ second favorite regional style of hot dog is Chicago style. Chicago hot dogs are all-beef franks topped with yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onion, a pickle spear, sport peppers, tomato slices and celery salt, served in a poppy seed bun. (iStock)

“What we’re referring to is the way that 99% percent of people eat hot dogs, which is in tubular form on a bun,” Mittenthal said. “And that is not a sandwich. A bologna sandwich is a sandwich. But that’s bologna and it’s similar to a hot dog, but it’s not exactly a hot dog. So no, a hot dog is still not a sandwich.”

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Hot dogs are made of meat

Though it seems pretty obvious, Mittenthal said that the most common misconception about hot dogs is “how they’re made and what goes into them.”

“It’s a very simple process about how they’re made,” Mittenthal added. “Hot dogs are pieces of meat that are cut up very – cut up off of steaks and roasts, they’re ground up very finely and they’re mixed with spices stuffed into a casing and cooked.”

“It’s as simple as that,” Mittenthal said. “All the notions that people have of things that they think go into hot dogs are incorrect. It’s simply meat. It’s what you see on the ingredients label. If it says beef, if it says pork, if it says poultry. That’s what it is. And it’s nothing more complicated than that.”

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