Today is one of my favorite days of the year!! The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council designated the third Wednesday of July as National Hot Dog Day and that is today July 19th!! The “Annual Hot Dog Lunch” in Washington, D.C., is one of the most popular social events on Capitol Hill. Sponsored by the North American Meat Institute for the past 40 years, more than 1,000 members of Congress, Administration officials, journalists and lobbyists gather in a courtyard for a huge hot dog picnic. At the lunch, hot dog companies serve their franks from traditional hot dog carts and popular retired major league baseball players sign autographs for attendees.The first official National Hot Dog Day was established in 1991.

Whether they are grilled, boiled, broiled, pan-fried, rotisserie cooked, grilled on a stick over a campfire or any other way, hot dogs are a favorite summertime staple.  They are loved by children and adults alike plain or garnished with one or a combination of mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish, cheese, bacon, chili, or sauerkraut.

It is estimated that Americans will eat 7-billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day alone! Over 25-million hot dogs are sold at baseball stadiums each year. The entire month of July is also designated as National Hot Dog Month!

Where did hot dogs originate? To this day, several conflicting claims exist. According to the Austrian city of Vienna, two Austro-Hungarian immigrants, Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany, invented the hot dog in their fair town. When the two men left Europe for Chicago, they took the recipe with them, and sold hot dogs at the 1893 World’s Fair. Later, Reichel and Ladany founded a famous beef production company that’s still churning out hot dogs today. 

Meanwhile, officials in Frankfurt, Germany, say that hot dogs were invented in their city in 1487. And according to a third tale, a butcher named Johann Georghehner, who lived in Coburg, Germany, invented the hot dog during the late 1600s, and traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new food. No matter where they came from, hot dogs are one of the most popular foods in the USA!

There are a few places around Tampa Bay you can visit for Hot Dog specials. Burger King is offering $ .79 hot dogs all month … Circle K has $1.00 hot dogs until July 23 … Sonic has $1.00 hot dog today … and Flying J / Love / Piolet Truck stops also have free hot dogs today!