Hot Dog Connecticut!

Happy National Chili Dog Day everyone! Yes, it is another obscure holiday, but hey, who amongst us hasn’t scarfed down a few chili dogs in his or her day. (And if you haven’t, well, I feel sorry for you…) And of course there are a couple Connecticut inventions related to hot dogs that I think are very cool.

Whatever you call them, wieners, redhots, franks, tubesteaks, death between a bun, hotdogs are a part of our culinary past present and future. A Connecticut woman recently invented flat hot dogs which are supposed to be safer for kids to eat. And by some accounts folks have been eating some form or sausages (which hot dogs technically are) since way back in the day. And I mean waaaaaaaaay back, like in the 9th century B.C. when they are mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, ” as when a man besides a great fire has filled a sausage with fat and blood and turns it this way and that and is very eager to get it quickly roasted….”

Today we eat a lot of hot dogs. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day something like 7 BILLION hot dogs are eaten in the U.S.  Surprisingly Los Angeles leads the way in hot dog consuming cities, followed by New York, San Antonio, Baltimore and Chicago. How do I know this? Check out the National Hot Dog Council’s website for more fun facts, figures, recipes and more including my favorite of hot dogs in the movies and TV.

Now for the Connecticut inventions. First of all we have Alexander Flamm of Bridgeport and his “Vending Machine for Frankfurter Sandwiches” from 1929. This machine would do it all, heat your dog, slit the bun, add mustard or other condiment, wrap it up and send it your way. There should be one of these on every corner in my opinion….

Hot Dog Vending Machine

Next up is Frederick E Burdick of New London and his “Method of Making Edible Rolls” from 1928 which solves the age-old problem of hot dog buns that fall apart when you stuff the dog inside them. This invention does away with that nuisance by making a roll which envelopes the hot dog in a blanket of bread like a snug winter jacket:

Cozy Home for a Hot Dog

So there you have it. Once again Connecticut inventors today and yesterday have been constantly working to make our lives better in every way possible. In honor of all our great inventors I urge you to get out there and throw down a couple chili dogs. There’s plenty of places to do it here in CT, Bart’s in Windsor, Blackie’s in Cheshire, Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield, Al’s in Naugatuck, Doogie’s in Newington…..the list goes on and on.


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