Ah, Spring. Time for the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, a cup of cold beer, and America’s favorite ballpark food, the hot dog. Americans consume around 20 million hot dogs at major league games during a typical season, a tradition that started in baseball’s early days around the turn of the 20th century.
People tell competing tales about how baseball and hotdogs became inextricably linked. One story goes that Chris von der Ahe, a flamboyant German immigrant and bar owner in St. Louis, introduced them at the ballpark where the team he owned, the St. Louis Browns, played. He was apparently a clever guy—he kept the ticket prices low so gamegoers would buy more beer. And maybe hotdogs.
Residents of Niles, Ohio, will tell you that the creation of the hot dog came from Harry Stevens, a local entrepreneur and immigrant from England who became known as THE ballpark concessionaire around the turn of the century. Legend has it that it was a chilly spring day in 1901 and no one at the New York Giants game was buying ice cream, so Harry started selling German sausages known as dachshund sausages, which were traditionally wrapped in wax paper. When the concession stand ran out of wax paper, he sent one of his employees out to buy rolls to serve the sausages. A newspaper cartoonist who drew the event apparently couldn’t spell dachshund, so he called them hot dogs. To this day, the town of Niles celebrates with Harry Stevens Hot Dog Day during the summer.
Whether or not there’s a grain of truth to either story, the fact remains that a baseball game without a hot dog just isn’t the same experience. Why? Hot dogs are easy to eat by hand, they’re inexpensive, and you can customize them with toppings that tickle your tastebuds. Yellow mustard? You bet! Pickle relish? Please! Diced onions? Don’t mind if I do! Cheese, chili, tomatoes, ketchup—every dog afficionado has a preference.
Of course, not everyone lives close to a ballpark, or—gasp—even enjoys America’s favorite pastime.
For those who want to enjoy a ballpark hot dog at home, Panorama Organic has introduced a line of organic, 100% grass-fed hot dogs that rival anything you’ll find at Dodger Stadium. The ingredients are simple: organic grass-fed beef, vinegar, a touch of organic raw cane sugar and honey, and a tantalizing assortment of organic spices. They’re pre-cooked and warm up quickly on the grill or in the steamer, ready and waiting for your favorite toppings.
Panorama Organic hot dogs are available at retailers across the country. Stock up today and be ready for baseball season–or just a quick weeknight supper that will please everyone.