The 4th of July is upon us! A time for family, fun, food, and fireworks. Our focus today is on the food. More specifically, hot dogs. For many years it has been a tradition to fire up the grill on the 4th, and cook hot dogs. Whether you take yours with ketchup, mustard, chili and cheese, or something a bit less common, the 4th is the perfect time to grill!
Another 4th of July tradition is the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest. According to legend, the first ever hot dog eating contest took place on Coney Island, the contest’s current location, in 1916. It is claimed that four immigrants to the U.S. wanted to settle an argument over who was the most patriotic of the bunch. Though no one is able to confirm the validity of this story, it is certain that it inspired the modern day Nathan’s contest. The hot dog eating contest as we know it today has been a summer staple since 1972. The first winner, Jason Schechter finished off 14 hot dogs in 3.5 minutes. In more recent years, Takeru Kobayashi of Japan, and America’s own Joey Chestnut have dominated the competition, regularly devouring 50-60+ hot dogs in the competition. That’s a whole lotta dogs!
Here are some more fun facts about America’s favorite summer fare…
- 1900: The year the Oxford English Dictionary recognized the term “hot dog”
- 20 billion: The reported number of hot dogs consumed in America per year
- 7 billion: The number of hot dogs consumed by Americans between Memorial and Labor Day
- 818: The number of Hot Dogs consumed per second in the United States during summer months
- 69: The world record for hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes. Set by Joey Chestnut in 2013
- 669: The length in feet of the world’s longest hot dog
- 20 million+: The number of hot dogs consumed in Major League ballparks each season
Now go fire up the grill, throw on some hot dogs, and have a great 4th of July!