Leave it to us Americans to take something delicious and turn it into something scary in the name of profit. Take the frankfurter or hot dog for example. This tasty soft pork (now pork and/or beef) sausage was invented in the late 1400s in the city of Frankfurt, Germany. It was hearty sausage made of quality ingredients. Brought to Coney Island, New York around 1870 where it was first introduced as a sandwich. The modern hot dog was born. As corporations grew, convenience and profit started to take precedent over beautiful ingredients and pride in one's product. That's not to say you can't get a good dog anymore. There are plenty of butchers and companies that care about their products. Just don't buy the mass produced junk, read package labels, and take the time to talk to your butcher.
Over the years, different regions of the country have created their own style for serving a hot dog. New york is the classic one. Boiled dogs (affectionately called dirty water dogs) on a soft bun topped with mustard (sometimes ketchup), sauerkraut, onions (maybe relish). Then you have your Chicago style dog which is almost a salad on a bun. Chicago dogs are generally topped with tomato, onion, pickle, relish, hot peppers, mustard, and celery salt. Here in Seattle, we have own style of hot dog in which the sausage is grilled and then laid inside a toasted sourdough bun. It's then topped with cream cheese, mustard, mayo, onions, hot sauce, and sometimes sauerkraut. I know what you're thinking, but trust me. I was skeptical at first but it's truly delicious. Everybody has their own style. How do you eat your hot dog?