FOOD HISTORY: The "Hot Dog".

While the history of sausages is ancient, even having been mentioned in Homer's Odyssey, the history of what we know as the "Hot Dog" is much more recent and has several branches on its family tree. It is believed that the "original" sausage that eventually became the contemporary "Hot Dog" was created in the late 1690's by Johann Georghehner, a butcher living in Coburg, Germany.  Later, Georghehner, travelled to Frankfurt, Germany to promote his product. In 1805, a master sausage maker in Vienna, Austria, who got his training in Frankfurt, Germany, made a sausage that he called the "Wiener- Frankfurter". This fact has given Austria a claim to be them birthplace of the "Hot Dog". His sausage, however, generally became known as "Wienerwurst"; Wien being the German name for Vienna and wurst the German word for sausage.This is, however, where we get the word  "Wiener" as a synomym for "Hot Dog"'. In 1852, the Butcher's Guild in Frankfurt, Germany developed a spiced, smoked sausage which was packed in a thin casing that they called the "Frankfuter", named after its city of origin. The sausage's gently curved shape, it is said, was suggested by a butcher who had a Dachshund dog as a pet. When Germans immigrated to the U.S., they brought this sausage, with the name "'Dachshund-sausage", with them;  Austrians brought their "Wieners". Frankfuters and Wieners, served with milk rolls (bread rolls but sweeter and softer due to milk added to the dough) and sauerkraut, were sold from pushcarts on New York's Bowery during the 1860's. (As a personal aside, when I served in the Army's occupying forces in Austria, 1954-1955, there were wurst stands all over. They served Wiernerwurt sausages on a paper plate, containing a dab of mustard and a small bread roll on the side. I consumed many, many of them!) Back to History: In 1871, Charles Feltman, a German butcher, opened a stand in Coney Island, NY. He wanted to sell a variety of hot sandwiches to his customers but his wagon was too small to make different  sandwiches in the wagon's confined space. Thus, he came up with the idea of selling only sausages served IN a roll. With the help of  the wheel-wright who had made his wagon, a tin lined chest was put in the wagon  to keep the rolls warm and a charcoal stove to boil the sausages was installed. Thus, the idea of serving sausages in a bread "container" is credited to Feltman. .Feltman sold 3,684 sausages in a milk roll during his first year in business. In 1880, Antonione Feuchtwanger, a German sausage peddler in St. Louis, Missouri, supplied white gloves with his sausages, so his customer's would not burn their fingers while eating their sausages. However, many customers would walk off with the gloves after finishing their snack. Feuchtwanger consulted his brother- in law, a baker, about the problem and he came up with a long, soft roll in which the sausage could be placed. Thus, the German sausages ( Frankfuters/ Wienerwurst) were introduced to the bun. How this combination of a German sausage on a bun became known as the "Hot Dog' is another convoluted story to be told in a subsequent post.