Explaining Hot Dogs, Franks, Tube Steaks
Getting ready for the family barbecue on the 4th of July or for the summer? Be prepared with information about the humble hot dog…frank…red hot…tube steak.
Harry Stevens was a concessionaire in the 1900’s who first served the grilled franks on a split roll. They were named hot dogs by a sports cartoonist, T.A. Dorgan. Ah the power of the pen! He was called TAD for short. In that day, many people believed that frankfurters were made from dog meat…and the vendors would yell out “Get your !”. TAD even drew the hot dog as a dachshund on a roll. This twirl of his pen led the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce to ban the use of the term hot dog by the concessionaires there. They could only call the hot dog…Coney Islands, red hots and frankfurters. By 1906, “Hot Dog!” and “Hot Diggity Dog” became shouts of approval invented during the Roaring Twenties. TAD (Dorgan) popularized the term hot dog.
What about frankfurter or frank? That name came from Frankfurt, Germany, where it was first made centuries ago. Frankfurt was so named because it was the ‘ford of the the Franks,” the place from which the Franks set out on their raids.
The frankfurter was introduced to the US in St. Louis around 1880 by Antoine Freuchtwanger, an immigrant from Frankfurt. Frank for frankfurter was recorded as a word in the 1920s.
The word for a hot dog, depicting it as a tube steak came from New York. It was even named New York tube steaks.
There you have the hot dog’s humble beginnings and various names. Call it what you will, it’s as American as apple pie and very much a part of our sports and barbecues.
Are you cooking hot dogs for your group this summer? How do you feel about regular hot dogs versus Kosher hot dogs? Leave your thoughts for all of us!