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It’s National Hot Dog month!

By Bukky Babalola

Published July 4, 2018

July is National Hot Dog month and Americans are basking in hot doggy pleasure.

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If you doubt how much Americans like hot dogs, especially at this time of year, ask the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

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Americans consume about 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day alone.

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Joey Chestnut, the competitive eater with the stomach of steel, ate a whopping 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes on July 4 to win the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest for the 11th time.

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A 2016 survey showed that Los Angeles residents eat the most hot dogs: 36 million pounds in a year. New York and Philadelphia came in second and third place.

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There are many conflicting stories of how the term “hot dog” came about. Everyone wants to claim ownership of this term.

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Legend has it that the term “hot dog” was coined in 1901 at the New York Polo ground on a cold April day. Other historians point to college magazines in the 1890s as the originators.

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This year, National Hot Dog Day is celebrated July 18.

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Here are some rules of hot dog etiquette:

  • DO dress the dog not the bun.

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  • DON'T put herbs on the same plate as a hot dog.

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  • DO use multi-colored toothpicks to serve cocktail hot dogs.

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  • DON'T use utensils to eat a hot dog. Eat them with your hands!

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  • DO apply wet condiments like mustard and chilli to your hot dog first, followed by chunky condiments like relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, then spices such as celery salt or pepper.

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So, how do you like your hot dogs? Grilled? Toasted? Fried? Cooked? Or with chunky condiments?

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Everybody has an opinion about the best way to eat them — even the famed film character “Dirty Harry” Callahan.

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