Doesn’t matter if you’re not that good at “Grilling Sunday”s, sausage is there to save you from ruining your day. Sausage screams summer: cheap, delicious and noob cook friendly – checks all the boxes. With an interesting name, nobody seems to know where to point when asked about its origin.
First mention, chronologically, of hot dog is found on Homer’s “Odyssey”approx. at c. 700bc. Another instance suggests that its first appearance was 1st century BC at Roman empire. Roman emperor Nero and His Gaius has their name attached to it. The story goes like this –
There was an incident where a pig was accidentally roasted without it’s guts cleaned. Nero, being curious, struck its gut with knife and noticed something unusual. Starving pigs before roasting was a normal thing back in the day. So its intestine was empty and after being accidentally roasted it was puffy. Genius Gaius quickly understood the value of this discovery. Later intestines were stuffed with game meat that were ground and additional wheat and spices – similar to Haggis of Scotland. Thus the first sausage was born, without any stuffer. Quite an accident, no?
Through Roman expansion in Europe, this delicious dish made its way to modern Germany. In 15th century Frankfurt and Vienna assimilated this and made their own edition Frankfurter and Wienerwurst. And they claim this to be their own invention, apparently! People of Frankfurt claims that way before great America was discovered, in 1484, frankfurter existed. That’s over 500 years old. On the other hand, Vienna (Wein in native German) claims that wienerwurst is the original one. Nevertheless, its taste is unparalleled served with beer and kraut.
In case of America, in 1893, we’ve seen the dogs at basketball park. It was introduced as fast food and gained popularity as such. A St. Louis bar owner, Chris Von de Ahe, proprietor of St. Louise Browns brought them primarily. Another story exists where Harry Stevens, a concessionaire at the New York Giant Stadium popularized “red hot”s. But behind the scene German immigrants are true pioneers from early 1800. Along with them, came their rich culture and exceptional culinary traits.Around 1870, it is rumored that an immigrant named Charles Feltman sold about 3600 frankfurters in a bun. At first sausages were sold alone, the customers were given white gloves to hold the hot sausages. Eventually, there was shortage of gloves to provide. Then the idea of bun was implemented. It was cost effective and at the same time tastier than sausage alone.
In 1916, Nathan Handwerker, a humble employee of Feltman’s, took initiative and decided to sell hot dogs on his own. This Jewish immigrant from Poland used to get paid only 11 dollars per week preparing buns for hot dog. He saved his money well, adding loans from friends he started his own hot dog stand depending on his wife’s secret recipe. He grew giant by selling his hot dogs half of Feltman’s price – 5 cents a piece! Feltman went out of business eventually. Thus Nathan’s Famous came into being an idea of hot dog became famous.