When Did Kosher Hotdog Start?

The inception of kosher hotdogs.

In the 1800s, the hot dog was born. Derived from the frankfurter, hot dogs made their debut in New York City’s Lower East Side. Because of Ellis Island, many German and Eastern European immigrants populated the city with their diverse food culture and introduced other immigrants to the food.

Lower East Side was mainly populated with the Jewish community. These immigrants practiced the strict food laws of kosher. These rules are intended to ensure the foods that are eaten are fit and proper. For example, when the livestock is slaughtered, by Jewish law, they are not to be stunned prior to that. Then the meat from that animal gets salted, thoroughly rinsed, then trimmed of specific fats, and including all veins and arteries, a process known as ‘Koshering.’

Some of the Jewish immigrants decided to venture away from that lifestyle to become more ‘Americanized’ and others wanted to fuse together American food and kosher laws.

Kosher butchers played a huge role in the Jewish community due to their knowledge in the kosher standards of the slaughtering of meats. When non-kosher hot dogs started becoming a big hit, they wanted to create a kosher hot dog that their Jewish community could indulge in. The difference between these two hot dogs is that a kosher hot dog is made without pork, and the meats were slaughtered abiding the Jewish law.

In 1905 the Hebrew National Kosher Sausage Factory started the production of the kosher hot dog in the Jewish community of Lower East Side. This company was later bought in 1928 by a Romanian butcher named Isadore Pinckowitz. He began distributing Hebrew Nationals in New York City delis and has been enjoyed by the Jewish and non-Jewish community ever since!