Get your dogs and your buns…It’s time to light up the grill! If there’s one day a year where you’re likely to be eating a hot dog, it’s definitely this weekend. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yup, that really exists), Americans eat 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and on July 4th we eat close to 150 million.
There’s no debating that the hot dog is an iconic American food, with a variety of flavorful condiments being used in different parts of the country, but believe it or not the dog actually originated outside of the States. It is believed that hot dogs were first created in the 15th century. Frankfurt and Coburg, Germany, as well as Vienna, Austria, have all claimed to be the birthplace of the hot dog, but unfortunately, not even the world’s most comprehensive history books are able to pin point where exactly the hot dog was first created. What we do know, is that hot dogs in the United States likely started with European butchers moving here, and bringing with them an assortment of sausages.
Now whether or not hot dogs are a personal favorite of yours, stats show that at some point this summer you’ll be chowing down on one. So that got us thinking – what if you’re traveling outside of the country and all of sudden you’re overcome with an undeniable yearning for a hot dog? Chances are you’re perfectly content sampling gelato in Rome and cheeses in Paris, but what if you’re not? Are you going to let this sudden craving ruin your trip? Of course not! So we took the time to research the best international hot dogs.A challenge like this can’t be taken lightly, not with so many countries adding their own unique condiments. We’re all about experiencing different cultures, not just talking about them. Committed to our research, we “forced” ourselves to sample a variety of hot dogs, with each one representing a different country. It was a tough task, but we ate our way through it, until we knew for sure which international hot dogs were the best. So if you’re traveling this summer and didn’t get your fill during the July 4th holiday, here are our top 5 international hot dogs:
Looking for a hot dog that is both salty and sweet? Then the Colombia dog is for you. Hot dogs are a common street food in Colombia’s larger cities, but mixing in with a hot dog’s traditional savory flavor is crushed pineapple. To our surprise these contrasting flavors were unbeatably delicious. This dog ended up being our #1 international hot dog!
– Crushed pineapple
– Topped with crumpled potato chips
When it comes to loving hot dogs, Denmark may be the one country that can compete with the United States. In fact, Denmark’s vast number of hot dog stands is comparable with what you’d see here in the States. These one man push carts, known as a Pølsevogn (sausage wagon), can be found all over Denmark and are frequented regularly by both, tourists and locals.
– Chopped onions
– Topped with pickle chips
If your go to comfort foods are hot dogs and grilled cheeses then France is where you want to be. Famous for some of the world’s best food, the French weren’t about to abandon that reputation when it came to hot dogs. Instead, they sprinkled in some savory French cuisine flavor and embraced the dogs with wide open baguettes.
– On a baguette (Not a bun)
– Topped with shredded gruyère cheese
– Then broiled
This dog connects more with Italian-American culture, particularly in New Jersey, but we’re going to let it pay homage to its homeland. Rarely, do you try an Italian food or dish that doesn’t leave your taste buds dancing and wanting more, and this hot dog is no different. But out of our top 5, this one is by far the most filling and will likely leave you satisfied after just one.
– Italian roll (Not a bun)
– Fried onions and peppers
One way to quickly make a hot dog your own is to spice it up with your country’s national dish. Rounding out our top 5 is Korea’s delicious kimchi dog. For those of you unfamiliar with kimchi, it is one of the oldest and most popular foods in Korea. Although there are many varieties of kimchi, its main ingredients consist of fermented napa cabbage, radish, scallions, garlic and ginger, pickled in Korean jeotgal – pairing perfectly with a hot dog’s flavor.
– Caramelized kimchi
– Topped with shredded cheddar cheese
Whatever your 4th of July weekend includes, make sure that trying one of these new hot dog styles is added to your to-do list. Or…You could have your own sampling contest with some friends and pick your own favorites! Be sure to share your photos with us on Twitter @EFTours. Have a happy July 4th from EF Educational Tours.