It’s hot dog season, friends!
That’s right: the time of year when we Americans collectively stuff our faces with these most delicious and versatile tubes of meat while we cheer on our favorite baseball teams, enjoy the sun, and partake in endless cookouts.
Between May and September, customers consume enough hot dogs at Major League ballparks to stretch from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles 5 times.
That is a lot of hot dogs!
Here are a few more fun facts about this classic American summer food.
So grab some napkins, and a cold beverage, and enjoy these fast facts about America’s favorite ballpark snack.
1. Hot dogs outsold burgers at ballparks
Hot dogs are more popular than burgers in baseball stadiums.
Hot dogs are more popular than burgers in football stadiums. Hot dogs are more popular than burgers in basketball stadiums.
And hot dogs were even overtaken by hamburgers at the NHL’s Winter Classic outdoor hockey game last year—a game that was played on New Year’s Day and featured a pair of teams from cities known for their culinary traditions: Chicago and Boston.
The point here is simple: America loves hot dogs, and it always has.
2. The world’s longest hot dog stretched 60 meters – almost 200 feet – long
The world’s longest hot dog was made by the Vienna Beef company, a Chicago-based purveyor of all things beefy.
The record-setting frankfurter was 60 meters – almost 200 feet – long and cost $80,000 to produce.
It was created for a Cubs game on October 25th, 2008, during which they won their first World Series in over 70 years.
It’s amazing how far we’ve come since then!
3. Hawaii eats the most hot dogs per capita in the U.S.
Did you know that Hawaii eats more hot dogs per capita than any other state?
For as long as we can remember, the Aloha State has been known for its love of all things pork.
In fact, Hawaiians are so passionate about their hot dogs that they even consume 14 times more than residents in any other state.
4. Americans consume about 70 million hot dogs on July 4th alone. That is enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times!
On July 4th, Americans consume about 70 million hot dogs. That, too, is a lot of hot dogs!
If you laid out all of these hot dogs end-to-end, they would stretch from D.C. to L.A., more than five times over!
July 4th is the biggest day of the year for hot dogs (and other fun foods like watermelon and piñatas). It’s also a national holiday in the U.S., where people gather at barbecues and have big celebrations with their friends and family members.
5. The average American eats 60 hot dogs per year, which is more than 20 billion hot dogs consumed nationally each year.
The average American eats 60 hot dogs per year, which is more than 20 billion hot dogs consumed nationally each year.
If you include the other major holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day and Super Bowl Sunday, Americans are eating an average of 18 million grilled franks each day from Memorial Day through Labor Day (that’s about 1 every 10 seconds).
6. Yo-Yo Ma’s favorite foods are his mother’s home cooked Chinese food and a “good, old-fashioned American hot dog with mustard.”
You might be surprised to learn that Yo-Yo Ma is a hot dog fan!
The famous cellist says his favorite foods are his mother’s home cooked Chinese food, and “a good, old-fashioned American hot dog with mustard”.
This isn’t the only food you can find in different countries around the world. Foods like pizza and sushi have spread across multiple continents and cultures over time.
Hot dogs are also popular in other countries besides the US, particularly Japan where they are called “Hottodoggu.”
7. We love hot dogs in this country!
- We eat hot dogs in this country.
- They’re a staple of the American diet.
- They’re a part of our national heritage.
- They’re a part of our national identity, if you will.
- Hot dog eating contests are a part of our national culture, and have been since before we were even called “America” (the first one was held in 1867).
- And they’re even part of our history: The hot dog sandwich was (allegedly) invented by German immigrants at baseball games as early as 1908!
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this exploration of the fascinating world of hot dogs.
There are so many ways to enjoy these tasty treats, and so much to learn about them! Whether you’re a fan of ballpark franks, or prefer something more exotic, we think you should celebrate your hot dog love today with a little extra knowledge in your back pocket.
We find it especially cool to learn how the history and culture of this American icon intertwine with other cultural traditions.