7 billion nationwide!
So, how did this famous meat item come to be? Well, some believe that the "little-dog", or German "dachshund" was invented by a German butcher named Johann Georghehner in the late 1600's, (who later traveled to Frankfurt, Germany to promote his new product.) But, it is also believed that hot dogs have been around since the late 1400's, (before Christopher Columbus ever set sail to America), and back in 1987, Frankfurt, Germany had a huge celebration of the 500th birthday of the hot dog!! (However, Austrians believe that the hot dog originated in their town of Vienna (Wien)??? Either way, the consensus among experts is that it is most likely that the German immigrants brought with them this culinary delight of little, hot, (pork?) "dachshund" sausages served in warm rolls, when they settled in various parts of the U.S. Interestingly enough, no one knows when exactly, or who began calling them "hot dogs", but historic college magazines were found from the 1890's that mentioned the sale of "hot dogs" from "dog wagons" outside of Yale dorms. (And yes, there was sarcasm there, as dog meat was actually suspected of being used!) Also, in 1893, it is documented that a German immigrant by the name of Chris Von de Ahe, (who at the time owned the MLB- St. Louis Browns team, as well as an amusement park), started the long time tradition of selling hot dogs at the Ballparks. And the rest is history!
So what kind of meat is really in hot dogs anyway?? Traditional hot dogs usually contain "various meats", (pork, beef, chicken, etc.), but with increasing "organic" and other health campaigns, hot dog companies have strived in recent years to produce "higher quality" products- specifically "Angus Beef" (ALL beef), or even ALL turkey and chicken varieties. (You really need to be sure to read the label and ingredients before purchasing.) I am posting this video on how hot dogs are made, as well as what's in them, etc., so you can see for yourself! (It's really quite interesting!)
For more information, visit the "National Hot Dog & Sausage Association" at: www.hot-dog.org/