Take me out to the ball game (and buy me a hot dog)!

stadium hot dog

Image credit: all is right in the world by eric molina, on Flickr. CC BY 2.0

What’s a better activity during the dog days of summer than getting together with friends, going to a baseball game and eating some hot dogs (I’ll take mine with Bertman’s Ball Park Mustard thankyouverymuch)? Nothing, that’s what!

I’m not alone in my thinking. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates Americans eat 20 million hot dogs at sporting events, picnics and fairs. It’s true we eat a lot of dogs, but how much do we know about them? Here’s a test to see if you’re the Top Dog of hot dog trivia:

Q: The hot dog was invented in the United States, true or false?

A: False! Sausage goes back to Roman times, but the origin of modern-day hot dog sausage is contested. Vienna, Austria and Frankfurt, Germany both claim to have created it.

Q: The term “hot dog” was coined by cartoonist Tad Dorgan when he couldn’t spell dachshund (a vendor was selling “dachshund” sausages at a ball park), true or false?

A. This is a controversial topic but many believe this story is false, since no evidence of this cartoon being published can be found. Scholars have found references to dachshund sausages and references to the “hot dog” can be found in print in the 1890s. But, like Stonehenge, its true origins will probably never be known.

Q: The first hot dog carts appeared in New York City in a.) The 1820s b.) The 1860s c.) The 1900s d.) The 1920s

A: It’s generally agreed hot dog carts first appeared in the 1860s, and the sausages were sold by German immigrants.

Q: In 1939, which president hosted a picnic for the King and Queen of England with hot dogs on the menu, creating a bit of social scandal?

A: FDR. Despite protests from FDR’s mother, the picnic was to be an informal affair so hot dogs were on the menu. According to reports the King enjoyed his so much, he had a second.

Q: Nathan Handwerker, creator of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, opened is hot dog stand in which year: a.) 1901 b.) 1906 c.) 1916 d.) 1921.

A: 1916. The company’s first competitive hot dog eating contest, held at Coney Island, was held in the 1970s.