A Hot Dog a Day in July!

In case you didn't know, July is National Hot Dog Month. I have been doing Hot Dog Stories for over a year now- that's where I go to different hot dog joints and take videos of the owners, the food and the patrons to give folks a peak into the glamorous world  of hot dog vending.

One of my story "subjects" suggested I honor National Hot Dog Month by eating a hot dog a day in July. Well, I know a fun idea when I hear it, so that's just what I am going to do! I'll be visiting some old favorites and doing Hot Dog Stories on some new ones while I go on this epicurean quest- it should be a lot of fun.

I sent a press release out to a bunch of media sites, newspapers, TV, food bloggers etc. to get some buzz. Stay tuned for more news on this epic adventure.

In case someone missed it, here's the press release:

Pledges to eat a hot dog a day in July

June, 10, 2011, Natick, MA- Rob Merlino, a former hot dog vendor turned “ambassador to Hot Dog Nation,” will celebrate National Hot Dog Month this July by eating a hot dog a day at 31 different venues. Mr. Merlino publishes the website Hot Dog Stories as well as several other hot dog related websites. His mission is to explore and publicize the multitude of hot dog carts, trailers, and trucks, plus other dining venues that feature the ubiquitous summer food: the hot dog.

Mr. Merlino ran a hot dog truck for six years. He had two locations during that time, one in Southborough, MA for 4 years and another in Marlborough, MA for two years. Health issues forced the sale of his business in 2010, but he still had a lot of love for hot dogs. So he set out to explore hot dog joints. He visited over 35 different hot dog joints in 2010 and has, at the date of this release, visited 13 places in 2011 (with plans to top 2010’s number).

The idea for the Hot Dog Stories site came to him after appearing on the PBS television show Roadside Stories. “I figured I would take the concept of that show- stopping at the side of the road to hear people’s stories- and apply it to hot dog stands,” says Mr. Merlino. His stories are published once or twice a week from mid April through mid December. He has started making videos of his hot dog excursions and publishes them on Youtube.

The idea to celebrate National Hot Dog Month in a public way was actually a suggestion given to him by one of his story subjects. The particular vendor who gave him the idea wanted him to eat at his trailer for all 31 days in July! Mr. Merlino will document his epicurean feat on his website. “I figure there are always stories in the news about hot dogs in July due to it being National Hot Dog Month, so I decided it would be a good idea if ‘the Hotdogman’ celebrated with a hot dog a day.” Mr. Merlino confesses to eating at least one hot dog a day every day he operated his hot dog truck. “The average American eats 70 hot dogs a year- I guess I’m above average!”

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The Hotdogman on TV

Here' the Hotdogman on Roadside Stories

Have you ever played the Punch Buggy Game? If you have, check out the Official Rules to the Punch Buggy Game. Check 'em out even if you've never played before, it's a classic road trip game for your summer travels!