The image of a wiener in a bun, topped with that singular squiggle of yellow mustard, is a distinctly American construct, instantly evoking campfires, baseball games and kids’ birthday parties.

Americans devour more than seven billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day alone. And we eat our fair share in Canada, as does the rest of the world.

Looking for the ultimate hot dog condiment? Check out our Zucchini Hot Dog Relish!

hot dogs
hot dog

Noblest of all dogs is the hot-dog; it feeds the hand that bites it – Dr. Laurence Johnston Peter


The Great Debate: Who, exactly invented the hot dog


Roman Emperor Nero’s cook claims to have made the world’s first sausages circa 50 AD.


Slightly more recently, Frankfurt in Germany says Frankfurters have been making…well, Frankfurters for more than 500 years.


Vienna, (Wien, in German) says it’s the true birthplace of the “wienerwurst.”

It’s a dog-eat-dog world

While the hot dog likely originated in Germany, countries around the world have put their own spin on the classic.

The hot dog (pølse) is considered the national snack of NORWAY. After WWII, everything American was all the rage in Norway. Of course, their version is made of reindeer meat wrapped in lefsa and topped with shrimp salad.

KOREA offers a wiener on a stick coated in batter (corn-dog style), deep fried and rolled in sugar. Other popular toppings include potato pieces, ramen, panko, cheese and anything goes when it comes to sauces. These are all the rage in Calgary right now and will be easy to find.

HAWAII gets in on the action with the puka dog: Polish sausages stuffed into a sweet Hawaiian roll and drizzled with mango mustard and pineapple relish. They’re sweet, spicy and salty.

LATIN AMERICAN salchipapas forego the bun and serve pan-fried sausage on French fries topped with ketchup, mayo, aji chili sauce and mustard.

ARGENTINIAN panchukers are made like waffles with batter in an iron contraption creating a sausage envelope.

THAILAND’S khanom Tokyo is a thin crepe with egg, soy sauce, minced pork and a sausage.

But those are wieners…when did the bun rise?


It’s generally agreed that German (or Austrian) immigrants to America were the ones to begin serving sausages in rolls in the 1860s so street-cart customers didn’t burn their fingers.


Well, no, but it’s worth noting that the first Coney Island hot dog (and maybe the first hot dog ever) was made in 1867, meaning Canada and hot dogs, two of America’s favourite things, were born the same year.


Plenty of restaurants offer a hot dog on their menu; it’s a kid-pleaser, something guaranteed to keep the little darlings occupied for at least part of the meal. However, if you’re looking for the good stuff, here are a couple of recommended spots for a great dog:

Karen Kho is the self-proclaimed hot dog spokeswoman… a girl after our own hearts.

Empire Provisions: they make their own wieners!

Tubby’s: once Tubby Dog, now a pub with hot dogs. They still make their signature Tubby Dog served with creamy slaw, ripple chips and a pickle. Owner Jon Truch maintains, “yellow mustard is the foundation of a great hot dog.” Agreed, with bells on. This issue’s cover is Tubby’s Aunt May featuring the house-made sausage, potato salad, cheddar cheese and green onions. Mmmmmm.

Gruman’s Catering and Delicatessen: you really can’t surpass a kosher wiener topped with good mustard and sauerkraut. Period.

Blackfoot Truckstop Diner: a worthy dog, topped with house-made chili, served on a toasted bun. And it’s a truck stop!

Brant Lake Wagyu Butcher Shop: Feeling a little fancy? Up your game with hot dogs and smokies from Brant Lake Wagyu. It doesn’t get more local than this.