Our friends and clients at Sahlen’s and Wardynski’s would certainly be unhappy if we missed THIS celebration, but so would the tens of thousands of WNYers (1 in 5 in Niagara County and 1 in 6 in Erie County) who trace their ancestry to Germany. You see, this quintessentially American food is actually a German immigrant, too, going all the way back to the Frankfurter Würstchen, or frankfurter, a pork sausage that originated in Frankfurt, Germany in the 1200s. This treat migrated east to Vienna, Austria in the late 1700s where beef was added to the recipe to produce the Vienna sausage or wiener (Wien is Vienna in German). It wasn’t until the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 (or was it St. Louis in 1904?) that the American hot dog was truly born when these sausages were (maybe) first served in buns by Antoine Feuchtwanger, an immigrant from Frankfurt, of course. The bun made a hot dog easy to handle and eat, so it’s no wonder it was soon popular at baseball games where it was (perhaps) first served by another German, Christian Friedrich Wilhelm von der Ahe, owner of the St. Louis Brown Stockings baseball team. So if you have a frank today at Sahlen’s Field to bid the Blue Jays adieu, give a nod to Fuhrman, Schoellkopf, Urban and the rest of WNY’s German heritage. You might also want to have another local product handy—Weber’s mustard. Happy National Hot Dog Day!