By RON PRESTON
Today is a national holiday for sports writers across the country. Today, we are celebrating the main course of a sports writers buffet, the American Hot Dog.
The hot dog is a fully cooked sausage, traditionally grilled or steamed. It is typically served like a sandwich in a sliced bun. It is often garnished with mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish, cheese, chili and/or sauerkraut.
Claims about the invention of hot dogs are difficult to prove, as stories have the creation of the sausage, the placing of the sausage on bread or a bun as finger food leading back to the frankfurter, which comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages similar to hot dogs originated.
These frankfurters were known since the 13th century and given to the people on the event of imperial coronations starting with the coronation of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor as King.
Wiener, as the hot dog is sometimes called, refers to Vienna, Austria, whose German name is “Wien” home to a sausage made of mixture of pork and beef.
Sometime in the 1870’s, on Coney Island, German immigrants began selling sausages in rolls according to historians.
Sports writers supposedly began getting their “main course” at baseball games as early as 1893 when Chris von der Ahe, a German immigrant who owned not only the St. Louis Browns, but also an amusement park.
Others claim they ate their first “hot dog” at the old New York Polo Grounds in the early 1900’s at a New York Giants baseball game.
There have been many stories told and written about the ingredients in the delicacy of the sports writers buffet. Some stories go back to Germany, where dog meet may have actually been used as a prime ingredient. Researches found this to be factual, but this was in early 20th Century.
Since then this sports writer believes that only healthy elements of pork, turkey and beef are the main ingredients.
There will be many “hot dog” eating contests across the country today to celebrate the invention of our (sports writers) main stay buffet course.
Abilene will have theirs at the Central Kansas Free Fair in August.
This sports writer does not live on hot dogs alone, when not on duty and at home; the choice of the day is hamburgers, just like Popeye’s friend Wimpy.