Danish Hot Dogs Are Serious Business @ DØP

The Danes definitely take their hot dogs seriously and I say this because it certainly is one of the BEST street hot dogs I’ve ever had so far (think Serious Eats is with me on this). There are the classic pølsevogn (sausage wagon), which you can find pretty much every 3 minutes in Copenhagen; and the hippie organic ones by Den Økologiske Pølsemand DØP (‘the organic sausage man), located by Rundetårn (the Round Tower).

The Danish hot dogs or known as pølser, are generally wiener-style (‘little sausage’) cooked on flat grill. The dogs are topped with a retarded pile of crispy friend onions (yes, you heard me – FRIED), freshly chopped onions and thinly sliced pickles and your choice of mustard, ketchup and/or remoulade. The pickles are on the sweet side compared to the North American ones and I’m sure fellow foodies with a sweet-tooth will appreciate it. And remoulade is a mayonnaise-based condiment invented in France. It’s similar to the tartar sauce and the Danes also use it for roasted beef smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwich) and breaded fish fillets. The unconventional DØP serves the classic dogs on sourdough bun instead of white bread and this really gives an extra edge to the overall texture (drooling as I’m typing).

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So who invented it and how did it come about? If you’re a curious cookie like me, read on:

Quick History & Facts

Let’s start with the ‘dog’ or sausage per say. As Patti Benett Lamneck mentioned in her article in 1980, Microwave Magic, sausage is one of the oldest processed foods. The origin of sausage oscillates between Johann Georghehner, a Bavarian butcher living in Germany in 1600’s, and the spiced, smoked sausage packed in a thin casing called “Frankfurter” that was sold as ‘dachshund’ or little dog.

As the Germans always ate dachshund sausages with bread, it’s not surprising that the first hot dog stand was opened in 1871 in Coney Island by Charles Feltman, a German butcher (obviously). He sold 3,684 dachshund sausage nestled in a bun with milk roll in his first year of business (that’s average 10 a day).

From Dachshund to Hot Dogs

The term ‘hot dog’ was coined by Thomas Aloysius Dorgan (known as Tad Dorgan), a New York Journal sports cartoonist. He observed the scene of vendors selling hot dogs on a cold April day shouting “They’re red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they’re hot!” and he drew a cartoon of a barking dachshund nestled warmly in a roll. Not sure how to spell ‘dachshund’, he simply wrote ‘hot dog’. The cartoon became sensational and the term ‘hot dog’ gained popularity and was coined. But no one has been able to find this cartoon despite its popularity.

If you’re hot dog fanatic, read more on National Hot Dog Sausage Council (NHDSC).

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Anyway, the point is – GO GET A PØLSER when you’re walking around the cute and beautiful Copenhagen, be it organic or not. Keep chewing with CHEN CHEW.