Located in Erie, PA, Smith Provision makes a natural casing wiener that the hometown folks love. During the summer months, Smith’s produces 80,000 hot dogs daily which are shipped to the local baseball park, markets, and street vendors.
The history of Smith Provision began with Tony Weber born in Bavaria in 1900. As a young man in Germany, he worked with an apprentice butcher who taught him about sausage and smoked meat. Eventually, Tony immigrated to New York City where he secured a job with a butcher. Times were difficult and the pay was little. After he married, the butcher cut his wages thinking that Tony would be desperate to keep his job. Vowing not to work for anybody again, Tony co- founded Schaller and Weber, a butchering company in another part of New York City.
Ten years later, Tony read about Smith Company which was for sale in Erie, PA. Thinking that this was a wonderful opportunity to have the family work together, he sent for his brother who was still in Germany and moved to Erie.
Smith Provision became very successful due to the recipes brought from Germany and the fine sausages and smoked meats that the company produced. Today, the company is owned an operated by the fourth generation of the Weber family. The company’s products include the natural casing wieners, hams, kielbasa, bratwurst, and luncheon meats such as garlic bologna, pickle loaf, and beef roast.
The company ships their products to nearby cities and for those who have tasted these delicious products, you can order on line to have your favorite meat shipped directly to you.
The Popularity of Hot Dogs:
Hot dogs are a favorite All American fare for picnics. They are a true summertime fun food. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will eat nine billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day. On July 4, Independence Day, over 150 million hot dogs will be consumed. The average American will eat 70 of these delicious dogs each year. Whether you call them hot dogs, wieners, frankfurters, franks, or sausages, Americans have gone crazy for this specialty.
What is it about the hot dog that makes it so popular? Besides the taste, hot dogs are generally inexpensive, easily to eat, and can be served with a variety of sides.
Hot Dog Trivia
The longest dog was 1,996 feet and was made by the Sara Lee Corporation to honor the 1996 Olympics.
Mustard is the favorite topping of those over 35.
Ketchup is the favorite for those younger.
July is National Hot Dog Month.
The top three hot dog eating cities are: New York, Los Angeles, and Baltimore-Washington.
The champion of the National Hot Dog Eating Contest held each year at Coney Island receives a yellow belt. Last year’s winner ate 50 hot dogs with buns in 12 minutes.
Over 1.8 billion hot dogs were sold in US supermarkets last year.
At major league ballparks, over 24.2 million hot dogs were sold.
Hot Dog Toppings around the US
South – cole slaw like topping with cabbage, onions, carrots, mayo, and spices
New York – steamed onions and mustard
Chicago – poppy seed bun, yellow mustard, raw onion, pickle relish sliced tomato, and
Kansas City – sauerkraut and Swiss cheese
Iowa and Texas both lay claim to the corn dog
Erie, PA – Greek sauce (chili type)
The hot dog, one of American’s favorite foods, can be found in backyards, kitchens, and ballparks. There have even been songs written about the hot dog. And driving along the highway, you might see a car fashioned into the shape of the All-American delight.
No matter how you eat your hot dog, no matter what your preferred toppings, hot dogs are an integral part of American cuisine.
Have you eaten your quota of 70 hot dogs? Don’t worry; you can “ketchup” on July 20, National Hot Dog Day.