Drag It Through The Garden: The Chicago Hot Dog's Immigrant History
In this episode of "Americanize Me," we're in the Windy City to learn more about the immigrant history behind the Chicago-style hot dog.By Christian Bryant, Ben Schamisso | October 20, 2016
You might think of hot dogs as an American staple — as American as baseball. But like most things in the states, hot dogs came from somewhere else and so did the ideas that led to the Chicago-style hot dog. We went to the Chicago Hot Dog Fest and sat down with a local historian to learn more about how the Windy City dog got its start.
"Selling hot dogs was a great entry-level job for immigrants," said Russell Lewis, a historian at the Chicago History Museum. "You have a very large population of Germans coming to Chicago. And what they're bringing is their sausage tradition."
In 1900, one-fourth of all Chicagoans had been born in Germany or had a parent born in Germany.