The Popcorn Stand: Not just a sandwich, hot dogs are as American as tacos

Now that “the most important election of our lifetime” is over until the next “most important election of our lifetime” two years from now, which I guess has really already started, it’s time to look at something that’s actually important.

It’s the roiling controversy of our day. At least that’s what I’m saying after watching a segment on the MLB Network. Are hot dogs sandwiches?

Hot dogs, of course, are as American as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet (look it up Millennials). Actually in today’s vernacular I guess you could say hot dogs are as American as pizza, tacos and Chinese food.

Of course then again saying the hot dog is “just a sandwich” is like saying Frank Sinatra is “just a singer.” Which reminds me of the Tonight Show episode when Sinatra was a guest and Johnny Carson asked him “When you try to get lucky, whose record do you play?” But I digress.

So the roiling controversy gets more roiling. Oscar Mayer has t-shirts with a picture of a hot dog with the words below it “this is a sandwich.” (Which is what I saw on the MLB Network).

But there are those who love the hot dog so much, they say there’s no way you can call a hot dog “just a sandwich.”

According to Wikipedia the hot dog is a grilled or steamed link-sausage sandwich. So there you go. Anyway, whether it’s a sandwich or “just not a sandwich,” the person who came up with the idea for the hot dog was a genius.

While the origins of the hot dog are debated, one genius who made the hot dog what it is today is Antonoine Feuchtwanger’s wife. Feuchtwanger needed something to put his wiener concoction in and his wife came up with an idea of what we know today as the hot dog bun.

Necessity is definitely indeed the mother of invention. And while I’m grateful to her, thank goodness the hot dog isn’t called a Feuchtwanger. Two Feuchtwangers and a Coke doesn’t have the same kind of ring to it as two dogs and a Coke.

It’s almost time for lunch. I think I’ll get some tacos. Hey, they’re as American as hot dogs.

— Charles Whisnand


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