Tuesday, November 2, 2010
HOT DIGGITY DOG: THE HISTORY OF THE HOT DOG- Adrienne Sylver
OK, so I'm probably not supposed to admit this, but I really do like hot dogs. Especially cooked on the grill, until they are a little charred. Or at baseball games. Just the hot dog, and the bun, and mustard, and once in a while a little pickle relish. No catsup or weird stuff like sauerkraut or onions.
It was fun, then, to discover Adrienne Sylver's HOT DIGGITY DOG in my pile of CYBILS nominees this week. Sylver became interested in hot dogs after hearing a show on NPR one July weekend. Did you know that Americans eat two billion hot dogs every July? Or that if you lined them up end to end, they would stretch 190,00o miles.
After hearing the NPR show, Sylver began researching the history of the hot dog. Each two page spread is a kind of "mini-chapter" e.g. "In the Beginning," "Welcome to the USA," "The Hot Dog Farm," and "Extreme Eating." There's a paragraph or two about the topic, then a side bar with three or four related facts. Did you know, for instance, that you can order a Salmon Dog, topped with avocados and carrots at Franktitude in Miami, Florida? Or that Babe Ruth loved hot dogs so much that he would often eat more than a dozen in one sitting? The illustrations are mostly cartoon, but occasionally a photograph of a hot dog sneaks its way in.
Appendixes include two hot dog recipes, some interesting food-related websites and books, and a bibliography.