Hot dog with Mexican-style garnishes: black beans, salsa and yellow bell pepper (all photos courtesy A & H).
A & H, Abeles & Heymann, is an old-world-style producer of top-quality kosher processed meats—corned beef, hot dogs, pastrami and salami. The products are made from recipes brought from Austria to New York City.
Founded in 1954 by an uncle and his nephew, the small company prospered. Decades later, when the founders planned to retire, they didn’t want to sell to a large corporation that might seek higher profits by changing the quality of the ingredients and the manufacturing process. So the company remains privately owned, and the quality is still the highest.
The hot dogs are glatt kosher. The difference between kosher and glatt kosher is a higher standard of supervision. To be certified glatt kosher, the meat must come from an animal with adhesion-free or smooth lungs; glatt means smooth. Here’s a longer explanation.
After creating the proper lean-to-fat ratio, the mixture is moved into a rotating paddle machine where the ground meat and fat create a bind that reduces greasiness. The meat then goes into an emulsifier, where spices are added.
The spiced meat heads to the stuffer, where the meat is extruded into the linker—the machine that forms the individual hot dogs, or links in trade parlance.
The linked hot dogs are placed on a hanging tree (photo #3) and rolled into ovens, where the meat is smoked for 12 to 24 hours. After cooling, the links are separated, packaged and shipped.
Most hot dog brands taste fatty and overly-spiced. That’s to cover up lesser-quality meat and a greater percentage of [cheaper] fat.
Bite into an A & H hot dog, and you’ll immediately taste the meatiness. It’s one of the best-tasting beef hot dogs you can hope to find.
There’s no sponginess (an indication of fat), no excessive spicing ready to be burped.
If you’re looking to grill something more special for the holiday weekend—or any day of the year—pick up some A & H hot dogs. They’re more expensive than big brands; but isn’t all good meat more expensive?
THE HISTORY OF HOT DOGS
The history of the hot dog explains the terms frankfurter and wiener. The hot dog traces its lineage to the 15th-century Viennese sausage, or wienerwurst in German.
Johann Georghehner, a butcher from the German city of Coburg, in Bavaria, is credited with inventing the “dachshund” or “little dog” sausage in the 17th century, and he brought it to the larger city of Frankfurt. The style became known as the frankfurter.
Yet, it was still a sausage eaten with a knife and fork, no bun. The hot dog, a slender sausage in a bun, was undeniably an American invention.
The attribution is given to a German immigrant named Charles Feltman, who began selling sausages in rolls at a stand in Coney Island in 1871.
The 1893 World Exposition in Chicago marked the debut of the hot dog vendor. According to National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, around this time that the hot dog first made its first appearance at a ballpark, at a St. Louis Browns game.
The first published mention of the term “hot dog” as a food first appeared in print in a September 1893 issue of The Knoxville Journal. However, it was well established prior to then.
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