Wrapping up summer with a history of the hot dog, Mental Floss delves into what turns out to be an age-old controversy (who knew?).
The saga begins with the sausage, the hot dog’s oldest known ancestor. Mentioned in Homer’s The Odyssey way back around 8th Century BCE, there’s no written record of its inventor. We also attribute Roman emperor Nero with helping popularize the dish at the time of his reign.
The turning point in which the sausage was transformed into the hot dog we know and love today is hotly debated in what Mental Floss calls a “sausage schism” between Germany and Austria.
According to the Germans, the hot dog originated in Frankfurt in 1487—thus the “frankfurter.” Some 100 years later, German butcher Johann Georghehner of Coburg is also said by some to have invented the hot dog (in the 1600s).
On the other side of the debate, Austrians credit the wiener’s creators as being Austro-Hungarian immigrants Emil Reichl and Sam Ladany in the 1800s. They then brought them to America by selling them at Chicago’s 1893 World Fair. The pair founded Vienna Beef, which still operates out of Chicago today.
So, as far as anyone knows for sure, Europeans invented the hot dog; funny for a snack considered more American than apple pie. (Which, according to Wikipedia, is actually a traditionally English dish. Is anything sacred anymore?)
Here’s some more stuff we loved from today:
Court rules its legal for Yelp to raise ratings in exchange for payment. [Jezebel]
Why palm oil is a problem. [VICE]
Scientists have sequenced the coffee genome. [io9]