Are hot dogs sandwiches? This is perhaps the greatest unanswered philosophical question in the history of human thought. Unfortunately, we here at SCOF are woefully unequipped to provide any clarity or definitive answers to that important question. We’re sure you are disappointed. If you’re a regular reader, that might be a familiar feeling at this point.
That being said, what we can do is take a completely unnecessary deep dive into the world of gas station hot dogs: Do we love them? Should you? Are they actually made of people? Let’s start with the history of hot dogs, a little bit about how to pick the best one, and finish by deciding whether or not gas station hot dogs should be in your snacking rotation.
Hot Dog History
Did you know that sausages in some form have been around since the 9th Century B.C. and were even mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey? That’s pretty sweet, because Homer also wrote about the lotus eaters, the six-headed beast Scylla, and the whirlpool Charybdis. It stands to reason that if sausages are real, maybe Homer’s monsters are, too? We may never know.
Of course, those sausages of antiquity likely bear some resemblance to modern hot dogs, but it wasn’t until 1487 that the hot dog, or frankfurter, as we know it was invented in Frankfurt, Germany…at least that’s one version of events. Another claims that hot dogs, known as wieners, were invented around the same time in Vienna (Wien), Austria. Think about that: five years before Christopher Columbus even set sail for the new world, the old world was enjoying a savory snack that may or may not have been considered a sandwich—and fighting over its obscure origins.
According to the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council, 1893 was an unbelievably important year in the history of hot dogs. It was in that year that they became the snacking standard at baseball parks. Chris Von de Ahe, a St. Louis bar owner, is believed to have started that tradition, since he also owned the St. Louis Browns Major League Baseball franchise. Also, all of the words in this paragraph are true.
The Choice is Yours
We’ve all encountered the hot dog roller in gas stations. Sometimes it’s chock-full of fresh hot dogs, warm and juicy, ready to be
topped with your favorite sides. Other times, however, the roller is covered in non-hot-dog foods such as taquitos, egg rolls, pizza rolls, and some strange mystery meats that look more like turds than anything edible. How do you know which hot dog to pick?
The first tip here is to use common sense. Do the hot dogs look like they’ve spent the past few decades laying out in the sun without sunscreen? Avoid these. Do they appear somewhat moist and possibly cold? Also avoid these. No one wants a cold, moist hot dog.
The second tip, and this is important, is to get to a gas station before the lunch rush if you really want the premium dogs. Have you ever stood around in a gas station from 11-1 on a weekday, watching what all the people buy for lunch?
No? Because I have, dear reader, and let me tell you that the stuff you will witness near the hot dog roller will chill your spine. It’s always a great idea to come early and get the best dogs and buns. You won’t regret it.
Are Gas Station Hot Dogs Healthy?
Of course not. Not even a little bit.
How Much for a Dog?
In the grand scheme of things, hot dogs are relatively inexpensive, and you will get a good bang for your buck.
Final Verdict: Gas Station Go- To
Look, we understand hot dogs in general aren’t for everyone. But they should be! They’re a delicious snack that won’t break the bank. You just need to make sure you pick the right one, or else you might be tasting someone else’s boogers.