The history of the hot dog has been relentlessly contested since the late 19th century. While historical sources tend to agree that the concept of the sausage was created in Rome almost 2000 years ago, Germans and Austrians both claim to have invented the specific sausage synonymous with hot dogs — the now ubiquitous frankfurter or wiener are based on the names of the cities responsible for their supposed creation during the 1400s. Regardless of whether the dish originated in Germany or Austria, industrious German immigrants are widely considered as the first group to have brought the hot dog to America in the mid 1800s. The origins behind the term ‘hot dog’ are also caliginous: some attest the name to consumers being unsure of which meat was used to produce the sausages, with a New York Journal cartoon drawing a link between the sausages and German dachshunds.
Originally sold as lone sausages, St. Louis vendor Anton Feuchtwanger is generally credited with placing the sausages into buns to facilitate the eating process, preventing customers from burning their fingers. Others credit Coney Island vendor Charles Feltman with selling the first hot dogs in buns during 1867. A former employee of Feltman’s, Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker later revolutionised hot dog culture with the launch of Nathan’s Famous in 1916. Over a century later, Nathan’s is still considered the world’s most famous hot dog vendor.
Back in the UK, hot dogs are often overlooked, still yet to experience the widespread popularity of burgers and their recent raft of specifically dedicated restaurants. A tragedy. Traditionally a working class street food staple, hot dogs are inexpensive and boundlessly versatile. While many global restaurants and vendors have famously embellished the dish with luxurious toppings, even the simplest construction is far greater than the sum of its parts: the snap of the sausage’s casing contrasted by the soft white bread, finished with a slick of mustard to amplify to subtle spicing of the beef or pork. These are the best hot dogs available in London.Read More