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Five things you didn’t know about hot dogs on National Hot Dog Day

Most people call them hot dogs. But they also go by red hots, frankfurters and – for the big ones – foot longs.

Today we honor that mighty sausage found at ball parks, picnics and at push cart stands. It is National Hot Dog Day.

Here in Buffalo, we like them grilled over charcoal.

Down the road in Syracuse, a popular hot dog restaurant fries them on a griddle.

And on National Hot Dog Day, you can get a free hot dog for lunch in downtown Buffalo.

The giveaway starts at noon at the Visit Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center at Clinton and Washington streets.

Buffalo Bisons mascot Buster Bison also will be on hand. The free hot dogs are available until 2 p.m. or while supplies last.

Here are five facts about hot dogs you might not know, via the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council:

• Last year, more than $2.5 billion of hot dogs – close to 1 billion pounds – were purchased in U.S. supermarkets.

• The top three hot dog-consuming cities in the United States last year were Los Angeles, New York and Phoenix.

• Peak hot dog season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That’s when Americans consume 7 billion hot dogs, or 818 hot dogs every second.

• While the origin is debated, hot dogs trace their roots back as far as the 15th century in parts of Germany and Austria.

• In a national survey, 88 percent of respondents said they’ve eaten a hot dog at a sporting event in the past year, or plan to eat one at a sporting event in the coming year.

Related:

Gallery: Old (hot) dogs, new tricks

Gallery: Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs food truck