Americans love their hot dogs. And we mean really love them. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that Americans eat 20 billion (yes, billion with a B!) hot dogs a year. That's about 70 hot dogs per person. That's a lot of hot dogs!
The interesting thing is hot dogs didn't even originate in the U.S. There are a couple of stories about where the hot dog did come from, but we're pretty certain it's Germany. One story says its origin is the frankfurter, which was first created in Frankfurt. But other says that's not true. They say its roots are with the popular sausage known as the "dachshund" or "little-dog" sausage. It was created in the late 1600s by a butcher named Johann Georghehner who was from Coburg, Germany. Georghehner supposedly later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his creation. That would explain the source for the name hot dog.
Whichever story is true, 1893 was pivotal for the hot dog. That's because tons of them were sold that year at the Colombian Exposition in Chicago. They were tasty, easy to hold and cheap. That same year was also when the hot dog became synonymous with baseball. The tradition was started by a St. Louis bar owner, Chris Von der Ahe, a German immigrant and owner of the St. Louis Browns major league baseball team (though others claim it was New York concessionaire Harry M. Stevens).