Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Origin Of The Foot Long Hot Dog.

Let's face it. Everybody loves a tasty wiener.

Even better... a juicy hot dog that's much larger than your normal size. Traditionally, a regular-length hot dog measures six inches, per industry standards. And yet, what about a frankfurter that measures upwards of twelve inches in length? That's a massive amount of sausage at twice the delight of well... EVERYONE!

Hot dogs are clearly a guilty pleasure food. They're synonymous with America; as patriotic as apple pie and baseball. Whereas the standard hot dog has been made for centuries (as early as the 13th Century in Germany), the foot long dog has roots right here in the USA. And yet, their origin is a sad one.

In the 1930's, America faced the Great Depression. Proven to be the worst economic downturn our fair nation has ever faced, millions of Americans struggled against poverty and starvation. A man named George Schmidt, whom operated an amusement park in Chicago, took notice of the hungry visitors that came to his park, but couldn't afford to eat in his restaurants. Realizing that these very same people typically ate the cost-effective hot dogs sold in the park (sometimes sharing one dog between three or four people), he created a longer hot dog that would serve as a cheap meal. Visitors enjoyed the larger hot dogs, which didn't cost much more than the standard length original version. It was an immediate success, with sausage packing plants the nation over beginning to produce foot longs to meet demand.

There's an old saying about necessity being the mother of invention. In this case, it gave birth to a perennial American classic, the foot long.

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