(reference taken from Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
The term “Dog Days” was coined by the ancient Romans, who called these days caniculares dies (days of the dogs) after Sirius (the “Dog Star”), the brightest star in the heavens besides the Sun.
Popularly believed to be an evil time “when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies” (from Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, 1813).
The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius, the Dog Star, rose just before or at the same time as sunrise, which is no longer true owing to precession of the equinoxes. The ancients sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that that star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.
The “dog days” of summer conjur up all kinds of things in my minds eye. One of them is lazily floating in the swimming pool (which I don’t have right now). Running through the sprinkler as a little girl. Homemade Ice Cream. Iced Tea, Cool Aid, Snow-cones, Shaved Ice… Another is grilling outside because it’s to hot to turn the stove and oven on inside. Fresh Fruit is another summer delight. And for some reason I think of “hot dogs” in the summer even though I don’t eat alot of them. Americans however do (60 per year). Here is some statistics about “hot dogs”:
How did we get the name “hot dog”? The story starts in Vienna, Austria, and Germany in the 1800s, where the “wiener” and “frankfurter” were first invented. Both sausages were thinner than bratwurst or knockwurst but still heavily seasoned and less spicy than their relatives — knockwurst, bratwurst and kielbasa.
One of the popular Frankfurt butchers of the day “curved” his sausages in homage to his pet dachshund. The name “dachshund sausages” stuck, and this style of link, thinner and less spicy than regular sausages, made its way to the United States, where street vendors eventually put the sausages inside a bun to simplify eating them.
Historical gastronomists argue over how exactly hot dachshunds came to be called “hot dogs,” but the most compelling tale comes from a 1902 Giants baseball game on the New York Polo Grounds. A cartoonist for the New York Evening Journal drew a picture of a frankfurter with the head, tail and legs of a dachshund, but he did not know how to spell “dachshund.” His caption read simply, “Hot dog!”
The hot dog has always been an American favorite. Americans eat an average of 60 hot dogs every year. But every region of the country has its own style of how to dress a dog.
Folks from Los Angeles swear by Pink’s, the 68-year-old Hollywood institution whose signature hot dog is a steamed, all-beef kosher frank on two slices of American cheese, smothered with homemade chili, chopped onions and a squirt of mustard.
New Yorkers, who spend $100 million on hot dogs every year — more than any other city — love their deli dogs straight from a hot water bath, loaded with ‘kraut and mustard, while neighbors in Long Island enjoy their Coney Island dogs swimming in chili and cheese.
Then there’s the Chicago dog. Order it “dragged through the garden” and you’ll get an all-beef kosher frank inside a poppy-seed bun, topped with green relish, chopped onions, a pickle spear, mustard, tomato wedges, sweet peppers and a heavy shake of celery salt. Who needs a balanced diet when you can eat a Chicago dog every day?
Enjoy the “dog days” of summer and try not to eat to many hot dogs! Just stay cool!
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