Happy Independence Day

This July 4th, Americans across the country will ignite their grills, as millions celebrate Independence Day with a traditional barbeque. According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, Americans will consume about 150 million hot dogs on July 4th alone.

To commemorate the holiday, Ball Park Franks, a Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sara Lee brand, serves up a list of the nation’s most mouthwatering hot dog recipes – showcasing the diverse variety of ways people across the nation prefer this American classic.

From franks stacked with potatoes and mustard to buns covered in mayonnaise, this year’s list is full of some tasty hot dogs including: New York City’s Street Cart Dog –Essentially the hot dog capital of the nation, New York City’s infamous street cart dog is boiled and then served with a special onion sauce and deli-style yellow mustard or in some cases, sauerkraut; Chicago Dog – Served in a poppy seed bun, this legendary hot dog is layered with yellow mustard, green relish, chopped raw onion, fresh tomato, a pickle spear and topped with a touch of celery salt; DC’s Monumental Dog – Popular within the nation’s capital, this hot dog is typically an all beef frank topped with banana peppers, onions, diced red peppers, sliced pickles and served on a steamed potato hotdog bun that has been spread with mayonnaise; Georgia’s Scrambled Dog – Served on a toasted white bun, this southern classic is usually topped with mustard and a spicy chili made with beans and large chunks of diced raw onions; Willy Dog – Popular in lower Alabama, these hot dogs are topped with ketchup, mustard, chili, sauerkraut, and pickles; Detroit’s Coney Dog – This Michigan favorite is made with a special beef hot dog with casing then topped with an all-meat, bean-less chili, diced yellow onion, yellow mustard and typically served on a steamed bun; Boston’s Fenway Frank – As one of the nation’s most famous franks, this hot dog is boiled and grilled then served in a New England-style bun topped with mustard and relish; Carolina Hot Dogs – Native to both North and South Carolina, these franks are served with chili, cole slaw, mustard and onions; Texas Chili Dog – This spicy offering from Texas is generally an all-beef frank topped with spicy chili, cheese and jalapeno peppers for an extra kick; or New Jersey’s Potato Dog – Local to the Garden State, this hot dog is topped with a mixture of diced and stewed potatoes that have been combined with spicy brown mustard.

No matter how you top it, there is no wrong way to eat this classic food. I like my toppings simple in order to relish the hot dog – mustard, cucumber and fresh chunks of tomato on a poppyseed bun.

Enjoy your holiday and remember to cherish the freedoms our founding fathers fought so hard to preserve -- Happy Independence Day!