What better way to celebrate National Hot Dog Day, Thursday, July 23, then to find out some fun and interesting facts about one of America’s most beloved food? Comprised below is some trivia, courtesy of Food Reference, The News Journal and National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. 

1. Legend has it that hot dogs or frankfurters originated in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany around 1484.

2. Hot Dog season lasts from the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day, until the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day. During this time about 20 billion hot dogs are consumed, which means more than 800 hot dogs per second are eaten in the U.S.

3. National Hot Dog Day has been celebrated since the 1950’s.

4. The American favorite is fit for a king. President Franklin D. Roosevelt served frankfurters to King George VI of England when he visited the United States in 1939.

5. As of 2012, Americans eat more than 16 billion hot dogs per year. The amount spikes on the Fourth of July, when 155 million hot dogs are eaten.

6. Nearly 90 percent of hot dog eaters choose mustard as their go-to topping, but get ready to cringe if you’re not from one of these regions. In Chicago, they like to use cucumber, tomato, pickle, onion and pickle relish and in Los Angeles they use mayonnaise and cheese. New Yorkers, however, prefer mustard.

7. The famous Nathan’s hot dog began when Nathan Handwerker created a business on the Coney Island boardwalk in 1916. Back then, you could buy a Nathan’s hot dog for a nickel!

8. While on the subject of Nathan’s, the annual Coney Island eating contest on the Fourth of July supposedly started after four immigrants agreed to determine who was most patriotic by eating the most Nathan’s hot dogs.

9. On the same note, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut holds the record for the men with 69 and Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas holds the record for women with 45.

10. What's in a hot dog? Who cares, it tastes good! Just kidding. Most consist of pork, beef, chicken and turkey, or a combination of those items. Other ingredients used are curing agents, water and spices, like ground mustard, garlic, nutmeg, salt, coriander, sugar and white pepper.

Hot Dog Hot dog season begins on the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day, and lasts until Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer. Photo: Reuters

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