From Sausage to Hot Dog: the Evolution of an Icon

This exhibit was curated by Bruce Kraig, Patty Carroll, Eleanor Hanson, Gerry Rounds and Andrea Katavic.

The hot dog is an American creation, and Chicago even has its own style. But where did this popular food come from and how did it develop? This exhibit looks to the hot dog's origins in sausage-making practices brought by European immigrants to the Midwest. We consider techniques used in neighborhood butcher shops and the rise of industrial meat production. Homemade recipes and artisanal makers past and present are also examined.

Photo above of hot dog stand by Patty Carroll from Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America.

Food stand on Maxwell Street, 1955

Photo by Mildred Mead. From the University of Chicago Photographic Archives, Image: apf2-09305.