As Americans celebrate with fireworks, parades, stars and stripes this weekend, there’s a very good chance they also will be celebrating with hot dogs. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC), recently showcased on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, estimates Americans will eat 150 million hot dogs on July 4th alone, the single biggest hot dog consumption day of the year. What better way to kick off National Hot Dog Month than to enjoy one of America’s most iconic foods? Farm assistant, Aaron Zimmerman had the chance to chat with Eric Mittenthal, President of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council to learn more. Listen to the full interview here!
While Independence Day may be the “right” time to eat a hot dog, a new survey[i] commissioned by NHDSC and the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, showed nearly 9 in 10 Americans believe there is no wrong time to eat a hot dog. And from coast to coast, there is more than one way to eat a hot dog. The survey also showed that New York style (all-beef hot dog topped with steamed onions and a pale, deli-style yellow mustard) is the most popular regional style, followed closely by the Chicago style (all-beef hot dog layered with yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onion, pickle spear, sport peppers, tomato slices and topped with a dash of celery salt and served in a poppy seed bun). The third most popular regional style was the Michigan Coney (Meaty chili sauce on top of an all-beef hot dog with mustard and onion).
“No matter how you top it, any hot dog is delicious,” said NHDSC Hot Dog Top Dog Eric Mittenthal. “Well, except for with ketchup. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council etiquette guide says only children should eat their hot dogs with ketchup.”
And to wash them down? Soda Pop. According to the same national survey, 76 percent of Americans who eat hot dogs say soda pop is the favorite beverage pairing for hot dogs, followed by beer (57 percent), lemonade (54 percent), iced tea (48 percent), orange juice (12 percent), milk (9 percent) and wine (9 percent).
Today, there are hot dogs for everyone with millions of different possible hot dog and topping combinations that meet a broad spectrum of nutrition needs, tastes, budgets and personal preferences. Like other prepared meats, Americans can enjoy hot dogs as part of a healthy diet. A standard beef hot dog[ii] is 190 calories, offers 7 grams of protein and 20 percent of our Daily Value of Vitamin B12, a crucial nutrient for normal metabolism, brain development in children and mental clarity in adults.
Additionally, by popular demand, the NHDSC will invite American hot dog lovers and connoisseurs to once again compete for the title of Hot Dog Ambassador. Participants must submit a hot dog essay to [email protected] detailing why they are a qualified hot dog ambassador and deserve to be recognized by the Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Essays should be no more than one page and may include photos, videos and other creative elements. Three winners will receive a plaque solidifying their status as one of the select few official NHDSC Hot Dog Ambassadors, along with a gift card for their favorite hot dogs and additional hot dog SWAG. The winners will be announced on National Hot Dog Day (July 21). Visit http://hot-dog.org/media/contests for more details.
The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has many resources for summer hot dog lovers including a full guide to regional hot dog styles, a list of the hot dogs found at Major League ballparks and tips on hot dog etiquette. All the materials can be found at www.hot-dog.org and fans can also get hotdog news Facebook @NHDSC or on Instagram @HotDogCouncil.
Hungry for more? Visit BeBeefPrepared.com for research, resources, inspiration and information on hot dogs and other popular prepared meats.