At lease several times a year the following passion play ensues.
The Scene: I am with my son sitting in our seats at the Twins game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Fan: (walks up or down steps, eating a hot dog as he goes, notices us, and stops): Hey, you’re Andrew Zimmern. How do you stomach eating some of that stuff I see you chowing down on every week on Bizarre Foods? That stuff in Africa was so gross, what was that? Grilled porcupine? Or that meat in Thailand, was that a rodent? Ugh.
Me: Well, sir, that’s kind of ironic. The hot dog you are eating is made of chlorinated ammonia-rinsed animal parts of unknown origin, bought at auction, shipped out of country in many cases, liquidized and cleansed, and shipped back here. It’s made into sausages and contains parts of animals that many of us feel are unsafe to eat on any terms. Need further proof that commercially prepared dogs are strange? Our government has laws that prevent you and me from even checking out the facilities they are made in or knowing what’s in them!
What’s in a hot dog?
Hot dogs are typically made from meat trim that has been left over after a butcher processes his animals into more saleable cuts. This includes bits of organs and bone, which means some of these tube steaks pack a nice punch of calcium.
That’s not too pleasant when you think about it, but calcium is a really important part of a healthy diet–especially when you’re a kid. Your body needs calcium to build strong bones and when you’re growing, you’re body needs a lot of it. So, from where else can you get calcium? Milk, cheese, yogurt, almonds, and even ice cream!
History of the Hot Dog
Sausage has been around for thousands of years, but the wiener has only been around for a few hundred years. What we now call a hot dog was supposedly created in the late 1600s by a German butcher named Joann Georghehner. This red sausage reminded people of a dachshund (aka wiener dog) and was served hot, thus the name hot dog.