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Why is a hot dog called a hot dog? Fun hot dog facts for National Hot Dog Day on July 19

National Hot Dog Day - man biting into a hot dog

From hot dog topping habits to cooking franks to the hot dog’s origin story, we round up the best facts about hot dogs to sink your teeth into!

It’s July which means that all month long, here at Maple Leaf Foods we’ll be celebrating one of the most iconic summer foods that we love to produce: hot dogs!

Did you know that July is designated as National Hot Dog Month? It’s true! In fact, National Hot Dog Day (yes, that’s an actual holiday) lands on July 19 this year. This national day typically falls on the third Wednesday of July, which means that it’s time for you to warm up your appetite for a hot off the BBQ frankfurter.

We’re pretty big hot dog lovers ourselves and we make a whole variety of hot dogs at Maple Leaf Foods — 34 types of hot dogs across 10 different brands to be exact! From Maple Leaf Top Dogs™ to Schneiders Red Hots® and Juicy Jumbos®, our hot dogs come in different sizes and are made with unique recipes to appeal to hot dog lovers everywhere.

Earlier this year, we even brought the stadium hot dog experience to homes across Canada with the Schneiders Stadium Size Footlong dogs. These wieners are the official hot dog of Blue Jays games and are only available in retail for a limited time, so consider this the perfect treat to celebrate National Hot Dog Day at home!

Read on for fun facts about hot dogs — but please don’t blame us if you start drooling into your keyboard!

Canadian vs. American hot dog toppings habits

Did you know that although Canadians and Americans share a border and a love of similar foods, research shows a frank distinction when it comes to favourite hot dog toppings? In 2021, we surveyed 810 meat-eating Canadians who have eaten hot dogs in the past three months to find out their hot dog condiment habits. The survey found that Canadians clearly favour ketchup on their wieners — at 45 per cent of people. However, data from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) shows Americans clearly prefer mustard on their hot dogs.

In fact, according to the NHDSC’s rules of etiquette, people over 18 years old should NOT put ketchup on a hot dog. Yikes! Who knew Canadians were such rule breakers?

Check out our blog where we round out the top three best hot dog toppings as part of our Hot Dog Debate series.

Canadians and Americans agree about their love for BBQ hot dogs

Did you know that BBQing is the preferred method of cooking hot dogs? Our survey found that both Canadians and Americans can agree on this one — hot dogs taste best straight off the barbecue. 59 per cent of Canadians said BBQing is their favourite method for cooking hot dogs, while boiling comes in second at 19 per cent, followed by microwaving at a low 6 per cent.

In the first round of our Hot Dog Debate series, we dove into the best way to cook hot dogs, and we agree with BBQing at #1. Check out other ways you should enjoy your hot dogs by reading the blog here.

The long-standing debate: is a hot dog a sandwich?

One of the longest standing debates in the hot dog world is whether or not a hot dog qualifies as a sandwich. It is indeed a piece of meat sandwiched between bread — but obviously, it doesn’t look like your typical sandwich.

While there are many combinations of bread, meat, veggies, and other toppings and condiments that can be considered a sandwich — no, a hot dog is NOT one of them.

Just take it from the NHDSC, who state very clearly at #1 in their 25 Hot Dog Facts for 25 Years: “A Hot Dog is not a sandwich.”

We even faced off this question as part of the third round of our Hot Dog Debate series, and explored what makes a hot dog, what makes a sandwich, and why the two are not the same. Read the blog here.

Hot dog eating champion, celebs love hot dogs, and more did you know facts

Here are some Q&A fun facts about hot dogs that you can share at your next BBQ party this summer. Just be careful to not look like too much of a fanatic and accidentally get entered into a hot dog eating contest!

Speaking of hot dog eating contests, did you know that competitive eater Joey Chestnut has reportedly eaten an average of 1,200 hot dogs per year for the last 16 years? At this year’s Nathan’s Famous annual hot dog eating contest, Chestnut devoured 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes, writes The Washington Post. Joey Chestnut’s record is 72 hot dogs in one sitting, and in total, it’s estimated that the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest champion has consumed 19,200 hot dogs in his life.

Where did the name ‘hot dog’ come from? The NHDSC’s Hot Dog Fast Facts states that back in 1906, a cartoonist who drew a sketch of a vendor selling ‘hot dachshund sausages’ came up with the name — all because he couldn’t figure out how to spell ‘dachshund’ properly so he shortened it to ‘hot dog’!

Where can you find the most expensive hot dog in the world? In Seattle, according to Yummy Dogs, which states that it sold for a whopping $169 from Tokyo Dog food truck.

How were hot dogs originally served? The NHDSC’s Hot Dog History states that Bavarian concessionaire, Anton Feuchtwanger, would loan out white gloves to customers with the expectation they would be used to eat the hot dogs and promptly returned. When the gloves stopped getting returned and inventory ran low, Feuchtwanger asked his brother-in-law, a baker, to help with a solution to hold the hot frankfurters — thus became the hot dog bun!

Did you know that celebrities love hot dogs too? Martha Stewart once told Bon Appétit: “After a long day with no dinner, sometimes I have to stop and get a hot dog.” Her go-to order is two hot dogs with sauerkraut and mustard — no ketchup for the American icon, of course! And according to The List Show TV, Bruce Willis popped the question to former wife Demi Moore while standing outside of Pink’s Hot Dog stand in Hollywood.

For more fun facts, check out our Hot Dog Facts and Figures sheet. Start warming up your grills and save the date for National Hot Dog Day on July 19!

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