Big Hot Dog Blog || Page 15
*** History of the Big Hot Dog ***
Chapter 1 - Birth of the World's Largest Hot Dog
One of the questions we get a lot is "How the heck did you come up with the idea for the Big Hot Dog?"
Well, the initial idea to create an enormous hot dog came from the father of owner/creator Dan Abbate, Denny. One afternoon in the summer of 2009, while enjoying a family BBQ, Denny was grilling up some hot dogs. Then, suddenly, tragedy occurred: due to a rogue spatula, several hot dogs rolled off the grill and onto the ground.
"It pissed me off to have to bend down and wipe the damn things off," said
So Dan - ever the dutiful son - set about to solve his father's dilemma. He researched local hot dog production and ended up commissioning Schmeisser's Homemade Sausage, a Chicagoland sausage company, to manufacture the
world's biggest hot dog exclusively for Gorilla Tango Novelty Meats.
The next step was to name this new product. So many options: Giant Hot Dog, Monster
Hot Dog, Huge Hot Dog, Humongous Hot Dog, Ginormous Hot Dog... There were so many great large hot dog names
out there, but in the end the best, simplest, most awesomest name was obvious:
the BIG HOT DOG. Thus it was the Big Hot Dog was born!
The prototype complete, the brand name decided on and the logo created, Dan and his family took to "Beta Testing" like hungry hounds to, well, a hot dog. The Abbates had an end of summer barbeque where they debuted the Big Hot Dog: slicing it into patties, they laid each hot dog slice flat on the grill. When Jamie - one of the family's standard poodles - took off running to chase
a squirrel, he knocked Denny off balance! For a moment Denny was a blur of yellow shirt and flinging spatula, but this time no one was left food-less, for each and every hot dog slice remained on the grill.
The family finished grilling, put the hot dog slices onto hamburger buns, loaded each sandwich up to their individual tastes (like the super-sized cheese dog, big chicago hot dog and monster chili dog) and dug in. Happiness ensued as the hot dog toppings stayed in the sandwich! The bun didn't get all soggy and gross! And best of all, with such a huge Big Hot Dog, there were plenty of servings for
all! The second round cooked up quickly and family settled in, content in their tummies
and their minds, for who among hot dog lovers would want to just buy hot dogs, when
they could buy BIG HOT DOGS for their cookouts, tailgating parties and summer
BBQs? This is surely the biggest and best hot dog Chicago (and the internet) has ever seen!
Chapter 2 - Invention of the Gift
Now that the Big Hot Dog was created and named, the trick was to figure out who would want to buy a huge hot dog. It was obviously something that would appeal to folks who enjoy large meat products. And of course there was an inherent interest for those smaller hot dog aficionados for they are always looking for a new party hot dog. It would be of great use to folks looking for a giant hot dog for BBQs and tailgate parties and the like. But who else?
And then we discovered a secondary appeal: the best ever novelty gift.
The very first Big Hot Dog ever sold was for a gift. The gift-giver was in New York; the gift-receiver was in California. We knew there was something to this and so we quickly adjusted the online Big Hot Dog store to allow people to easily send Big Hot Dogs all across the country with their own custom gift message.
The Big Hot Dog hit the consumer market just in time for the 2009 Christmas rush. It was a massive hit on Black Friday - we captured a big chunk of the Black Friday gift market that year I'll tell you. Soon the online store was packed with people wanting to send a Big Hot Dog and accompanying crass message to their Uncle Fred or their old college roommate. It became the hit of unusual Christmas gifts. People even sent out Big Hot Dogs as Chanukah presents.
The 2009 Holiday Season confirmed that, yes, the Big Hot Dog reigns supreme as the best gag gift in the world (and the third best serious gift in the world, behind flowers and candy gifts!).
Looking for something to send to your dad for Father's Day? Big Hot Dog.
Want to impress your annoying next door neighbor at the neighborhood block party? Big Hot Dog.
How about giving your brother a subtle dig on his birthday? Big Hot Dog.
Want to give mom a really weird Mother's Day present? Big Hot Dog.
Need to speak volumes to the wife through your Valentine's Day gift? Big Hot Dog.
Not only perfect for eating, it's perfect for fun.
'Cause honestly, who doesn't want to receive a 27" by 8" by 8" box in the mail with a giant Big Hot Dog sticker on the outside and a 7 pound 16 inch enormous hot dog on the inside?
I know I do.
Chapter 3 - A New Member of the Family, BIG BRATWURST!
Since the debut of our monster party hot dog, Big Hot Dog, in November of 2009, we have been wracking our brains to come up with other big sausage products we could offer to you, our faithful customers: Maybe huge ketchup bottles? A huge Chicago hot dog kit? Ridiculously large mustard jars? Whole pickles instead of pickle slices? Enormous hamburger buns? (We're still working on all these...)
After months of deliberation and work by our meat scientists, Gorilla Tango Novelty Meats is proud to announce its latest offering; The World's Largest Bratwurst, appropriately named...Big Bratwurst! Big Bratwurst is a coarse onion brat which measures 16" long and 4" in diameter, and is made of 100% veal and pork right here in the Chicagoland area. Weighing 7 lbs, there are approximately 50 servings per Big Bratwurst.
And like its 7 lb wiener brother, Big Hot Dog, we struggled for a while to come up with the right name:
Huge Bratwurst? Nah, too normal.
Enormous Bratwurst? Too common.
Colossal Bratwurst? We're naming a meat here, not a building.
Elephantine Bratwurst? Would YOU eat anything with the word "elephantine" in its title?
Gigantic Bratwurst? Not bad.
Giant Bratwurst? Getting better.
Enormous Bratwurst? Sounds like a dirty movie title.
Gargantuan Bratwurst? Even worse.
Humongous Bratwurst? Why are all the good adjectives taken by porn?
Jumbo Bratwurst? Okay, I can see that.
And on it went.
But in the end, simplicity won out [again], and it was christened Big Bratwurst.
Like our Big Hot Dog chicago (and internet) folks have been going crazy for, Big Bratwurst is equally great for tailgating/football parties, BBQs, family reunions, novelty gifts, and for bratwurst lovers of all ages. Big Bratwurst is 50 times bigger than normal brats, and is served by slicing it into patties for cooking and eating per the consumer's desire. Manufactured by Schmeisser's Homemade Sausage, a local sausage company based in Niles, Illinois, Big Bratwurst is the perfect addition to your summer BBQ fun.
Gorilla Tango Novelty Meats owner (and creator of Big Hot Dog and Big Bratwurst) Dan Abbate says this about his newest product: "Our Big Bratwurst knocks the socks off those tiny brats. It's high quality sausage that not only impresses with its taste, but also its size. How many Brats can claim that?"
How many indeed?
(Answer: only our 7lb Big Bratwurst!)
Chapter 4 - Media Frenzy
When Big Hot Dog was launched in November of 2009, we knew what we had was pretty cool. I mean, c'mon - it's a really big hot dog - how can that not catch on? But we knew we REALLY had hit on something special when we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of an unsolicited media frenzy.
From within a few days of the press release dropping, journalists and radio jockeys from around the globe began asking for interviews and samples of Big Hot Dog. Owner Dan Abbate - and even myself, the humble Marketing & PR Coordinator - conducted many over-the-phone and in-person interviews with outlets such as the Chicago Tribune, WGN Radio, Fox News, USA Today, CNBC, The Village Voice, Gapers Block, Thrillist, Meathenge, ManBQue, Buzzfeed, urlesque, Tailgating Ideas, Neatorama, Cracked.com, Serious Eats, The Examiner, Sportscenter, WLS 890AM, and even Sports Illustrated.
Wow. Who woulda thunk it?
But the Creme de la Creme, the proverbial maraschino cherry on the media Sunday came in the form of a simple telephone call. "Modern Marvels" on the History Channel was doing an episode on Really Big Things, and - you guessed it - they wanted to include the Big Hot Dog in the episode. So one day this past August, we went down to Schmeisser's Sausage Factory in Niles to meet up with the film crew that came in from Washington DC just for the Big Hot Dog segment.
We learned a lot both about the filming of a major television program and about the making of the Big Hot Dog. Did you know that a film crew for a show like this only consists of four people? The Producer/Director, an Assistant Producer, a Cameraman, and a Sound Guy. Cool. Did you know that the amount of hot dog mixture that it takes to make approximately 15 Big Hot Dogs equals the same amount of about 700 normal hotdogs? No way! Yes way. How long will a professional film crew take to film multiple shots and multiple interviews for the segment? All day. Without hardly stopping. How long does it take to hand make a Big Hot Dog? All day, times 2 - and then some, 'cause you have to smoke that sucker for more than four hours, not to mention cooling, packaging, etc. etc.
We laughed, we cried, we rolled our eyes at the old guy who said (really loudly while we were filming), "Edna, they're filming a hot dog commercial here!" We even ate some Big Hot Dog to end the perfect day. Currently the episode is being edited. We'll let you know when we get an airdate, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, experience your own Big Hot Dog media frenzy when you purchase a Big Hot Dog for football parties or other get-togethers. Once you bust out the Big Hot Dog, all eyes and attention will be on you. Prepare for fame and glory, and one heck of a good hot dog.
Big Hot Dog Blog || Page 15