That Time FDR Served Hot Dogs to the King of England


What’s ok to serve to hordes of hungry baseball followers is sweet sufficient to serve the King of England — or so President Franklin D. Roosevelt thought. 

And definitely, what’s extra American than processed meat grilled over a carcinogenic hearth?  

As battle loomed over Europe, King George VI, visiting with Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mom, joined FDR and members of his workers on June 11, 1939, on the president’s Hyde Park, New York, residence. Displaying some gastrodiplomacy, the menu of that day included “Scorching Canines (if climate permits).” 

“What ought to I do?”

“So typically once we attempt to outline a nationwide meals tradition within the U.S., it’s actually tough to take action,” Smithsonian meals historian Dr. Ashley Rose Younger stated. “Within the trendy context, folks typically cite issues like McDonald’s or worldwide quick meals cultures. However when you return to the 1800s and even by 1950, if you would ask somebody to outline American tradition, they’d undergo regional cultures, and the recent canine was a regional meals that was gaining recognition outdoors of the Northeast.”

The 2 members of British royalty had been provided some good ‘ol’ American delicacies — albeit proffered on a silver tray. 

And whereas nobody might be Joey Chestnut, the king and queen mom reportedly requested Roosevelt how precisely one was purported to correctly take down the slender log of meat.  

“Quite simple,” FDR retorted. “Push it into your mouth and preserve pushing it till it’s all gone.” 

The queen elected to make use of a fork and knife as a substitute.

Gastrodiplomacy takes root

Who wants shuttle diplomacy when you’ve gotten scorching canine diplomacy? The welcoming development quickly took off, with the Roosevelts serving the crown prince and crown princess of Norway the identical meal only a mere 15 days later.  

The American embassy in France took observe and, probably to the delight of few and horror of many (Frenchman), “served the delicacy with out the bun” to diplomats and “French society in Paris,” based on Atlas Obscura.  

In the course of the battle, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow threw a Fourth of July social gathering that featured scorching canine with buns and mustard and, naturally, vodka.  

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev tastes his first American scorching canine in Des Moines, Iowa, Sept 22, 1959. After ending the recent canine, Khrushchev was requested what he considered it. He replied “OK, glorious, great,” however later amended that it wasn’t sufficient. (Bettmann/Getty Pictures)

“Whereas the primary decade or so of hot-dog diplomacy may very well be chalked as much as the burst of preliminary media consideration, its endurance signaled a extra intentional effort by American diplomats and their counterparts,” Doug Mack wrote in Atlas Obscura. 

In 1954, to have a good time the just lately topped Queen Elizabeth, the American authorities put its taxpayers’ {dollars} to good use and airlifted 100 scorching canine and buns (with mustard in fact) to the queen.  

Two years later, the royal returned the favor by serving the ever-present American sausage to visiting members of the American Bar Affiliation. 

So simply suppose, subsequent time you resolve to grill up some wieners, you’re consuming like royalty. 

Share: