Great Depression Hot Dogs
Just keep buying Hot Dogs folks... everything will be alright.
In the USA – Hot Dogs grew in popularity during The Great Depression. One Google search of ‘Depression era advertising’ comes up with a hell of a lot of Hot Dogs and Mustard adverts. Right around 1929 the humble and inexpensive Hot Dogs became the most popular street food, bought for only a nickel.
The Depression Dog is a child of the dark global economic times - a meal on a bun, born out of anxiety. It's consistent. It's dependable.
“Before, during and after the Depression, hot dogs were the food of everyday people, because they were good, they were tasty, and they could stretch a dollar.”
This is also right around the time SPAM was invented as a solution to sell the underused shoulder portions of hogs. All be it, SPAM was one of many tinned ham products on the market at the time. The difficulty of delivering fresh meat to the front during World War II saw Spam become a ubiquitous part of the U.S. soldier’s diet. A.K.A – The “wartime delicacy”, or “Ham that didn’t pass it’s physical”, or “Meatloaf without basic training”, and the “Special Army Meat”.
Over 68,000 tonnes were purchased by the military before the end of the war. That’s a ridiculously large amount of pork, ham, salt, starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite. From wartime to affiliated with economic hardship – it’s still on supermarket shelves now. People must be buying it still… surely?
The wartime delicacy. Ham that didn’t pass it’s physical. Meatloaf without basic training. Special Army Meat.
Alan Wilson Watts
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