Frankfurters and the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is similar to most other holidays. There are certain traditions that seem to ketchup with us every year, and food is often bun of them. For Independence Day, it’s all about 100% beef hot dogs. 

From backyard barbecues with family and friends to eating competitions on both a local and national level, the hot dog has become the festive food of choice every July 4th since the 1920s. 

"Number one they taste good," said National Hot Dog and Sausage Council "Queen of Wien" Janet Ridley. "The Fourth of July is a time when grilling season is really in full swing. There’s nothing like a hot dog on the grill. In fact grilling is an American’s favorite way to enjoy a hot dog."

According to the NHDSC, Americans will consume more than 150 million weenies on Independence Day. That staggering amount is enough dogs to make a line from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles more than five times. 

Frankfurters, red hots, or whatever else you like to call them have been staples at July 4th cookouts for as long as people can remember, including Ridley, who says the history of both the hot dog, and America, is actually the one thing that ties to two together so well. 

"It’s sort of a symbol of our independence," she said. "It’s a symbol of our immigrants’ story because the hot dogs were brought to the United States from Vienna, Austria, which is where we get the term ‘wiener,’ and from Frankfurt, Germany, which is where we get the term frankfurter. They were brought by immigrants who came here and introduced them to Americans, who gave them their own American touch and a new name, which was the hot dog."