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Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America
     

Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America

by Bruce Kraig
 

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Whether you call them franks, wieners, or red hots, hot dogs are as American as apple pie, but how did these little links become icons of American culture? Man Bites Dog explores the transformation of hot dogs from unassuming street fare to paradigms of regional expression, social mobility, and democracy. World-renowned hot dog scholar Bruce Kraig investigates the

Overview

Whether you call them franks, wieners, or red hots, hot dogs are as American as apple pie, but how did these little links become icons of American culture? Man Bites Dog explores the transformation of hot dogs from unassuming street fare to paradigms of regional expression, social mobility, and democracy. World-renowned hot dog scholar Bruce Kraig investigates the history, people, décor, and venues that make up hot dog culture and what it says about our country.

These humble sausages cross ethnic and regional boundaries and have provided the means for plucky entrepreneurs to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Hot dogs, and the ways we enjoy them, are part of the American dream. Man Bites Dog celebrates the power of the hot dog through a historical survey and profiles of notable hot dog purveyors. Loaded with stunning color photos by Patty Carroll, descriptions of neighborhood venues and flashy pushcarts from New York to Los Angeles, and recipes for cooking up hot dog heaven at home, this book is the ultimate source—informative, fun, and tasty—on the role of hot dogs in American culture. It’s a must-have for the dog fan, the foodie, the pop culture maven, and the street-cart obsessed.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/28/2013
In this cleverly titled volume, Kraig takes a look at the American hot dog phenomenon, giving the history and folklore behind the foodstuff that became "quintessential public dining treats—long before the rise of hamburgers—sold on streets, at fairs and festivals, at picnics (weenie roasts), and in fast food venues." Not surprisingly, sections on how hot dogs are actually produced, with descriptions of "high-speed choppers" used to blend meat trimmings, spices and other ingredients "into an emulsion or batter," can be less than appetizing. Talk of industrial sausage machines and the "hazard of butchery" also prove difficult to digest. But chapters on the simple pleasures of eating hot dogs and the numerous ways which they can be served pull readers back in. A fully loaded Chicago dog, for example, "has mustard, bright green relish, chopped onions, tomato slices, pickle slices, and small sport peppers jammed onto the bun." And currywurst, first popular in Germany, is "covered in a sweet-hot sauce" and "served on paper plates." Photographer Carroll includes images of old-school hot dog stands and pushcarts, helping to illustrate this sometimes disturbing but always bright tribute to an American food classic. With recipes and b/w photos. (Jan.)
Michael Stern
Among the constantly changing stack of books on my bedside table are a trio of volumes always there for their timeless inspiration. Now joining On the Road, John Adams, and the Bible is Man Bites Dog. For a wiener lover like myself, it truly is biblical—full of history, drama, and wonder. It is a joy to browse at leisure and a solid read front to back, endlessly informative as well as entertaining. This ambitious ode to the most American food of all bolsters one's faith in our nation's taste, which, however it gets politicized, industrialized, or sanitized, remains full of character and mischief.

Gary Allen
In Man Bites Dog, Bruce Kraig has taken us on a veritable Magical Mystery Meat Tour, replete with amusing arcana and delicious digressions on every page—with the possible exception of the many pages that pheature phantastic photos by Patty Carroll. Gimme one with everything.
John Fox
As a hot dog fanatic, I devour any reading material whatsoever having to do with the subject of hot dogs. Man Bites Dog is the best and most comprehensive book about hot dogs, their regional styles, history, and culture, and the people who serve, make, and enjoy America's favorite food. I heartily recommend this book for the casual hot dog eater as well as the hardcore hot dog aficionado.
Serious Eats
Man Bites Dog looks to be a much deeper dive into the current state of hot dog culture in the United States. Definitely number one on my list this year.
Gazette
Partnering with photographer Patty Carroll, the pair explore the hot dog’s place in our society from the metal carts so popular in New York City and Chicago to iconic restaurants like Pink’s famous Hot Dog in Los Angeles.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Digging into the love and lore behind an unassuming ballpark staple, they (Bruce Kraig and Patty Carroll) offer a guided tour of immigrant culture, gastronomic history and hot doggeries coast to coast.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780759120747
Publisher:
AltaMira Press
Publication date:
11/20/2012
Series:
Rowman & Littlefield Studies in Food and Gastronomy
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
200
File size:
90 MB
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Meet the Author

Bruce Kraig, professor emeritus at Roosevelt University, is a noted food historian and widely sought-after expert on the lore, allure, and culture of the hot dog. He is the top dog.

Patty Carroll, adjunct professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, specializes in photographing American popular culture. Previous projects include Elvis impersonators; sleazy bars, motels, and restaurants at night; and American suburban lawns.

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