Corn dogs aren’t so corny: A history of wieners on a stick

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Brace yourself. National Corn Dog Day is just around the corner. How on earth will you commemorate the debatable 73rd anniversary of the almighty cornmeal-battered hunk of meat on a stick? By tracing the roots back to the conception of America's favorite carnival food, of course! Pop a corn dog in the microwave and curl up in your favorite chair. It's going to be a long story.

A boy and his corn dog
It all started back in 1942. That's when brothers Carl and Neil Fletcher opened shop for the very first time at the State Fair of Texas. If you're not familiar with the shindig, then it's time to rewind.

The State Fair of Texas dates back to 1886. Since then, it's grown to be the spectacle it is today. The Huffington Post gave it a shout-out for being one of the top 10 fairs to visit. It earned its spot among top-rankers, such as the Arizona State Fair and The Ohio State Fair, because it has entertainment to boot.

The Post explained that spectators show up every fall to dance to more than 80 musical acts and grab something to eat from one of the many vendors cooking Southern cuisine non-stop. Among them, is Fletcher's Corny Dog. Now, back to their juicy story.

It's hard to pinpoint the exact person who decided to roll a hot dog around in some flour, fry it, then put it on a stick. However, The Dallas Eater attributes the Fletcher brothers as the inventors of the corn dog because they were the first to become famous for it. What sets this wondrous corn dog apart from the rest is the preparation.

Photo via @ILOVETEXAS on Instagram.Photo via @ILOVETEXAS on Instagram.

Fletcher's is best in show
The Dallas Eater shared the Fletcher brother's most important ingredient, and it's not what you think. 

"One of the secrets to the corny dog's success, believe it or not, is the stick … you can eat it as you go," Bill Fletcher, co-owner of the iconic Fletcher's, told the Dallas Eater.

What's sillier than that? The brothers also pick out each wiener by hand, as opposed to many places that buy the frozen varieties in bulk. The brothers' attention to detail is likely what's made America go nuts over their corn dogs.

How to find Fletcher's
In the video, now-owner, Skip "Corny Dog King" Fletcher, recalled the exact place where he watched his father make the corny dog batter. That's how he's managed to retain the original recipe. It hasn't changed in more than 70 years, confirmed the Dallas Eater. 

The shop has been passed down to the next generation – Skip and Bill – the sons of the original owners. Recently, Skip was featured in a video on the Travel Channel website, where he shared some of the craziest facts about his business. 

"On opening day, Fletcher's sells a half million corn dogs."

On opening day, Fletcher's sells a half million corn dogs. Whatever they're doing to make those dogs so sweet, it's working, as everyone from children to adults lines up each year to grab a corn dog. 

If you're already drooling, catch Skip and the rest of the gang at the next State Fair of Texas, which is expected to run from Sept. 25 to Oct. 18. You can buy your tickets in advance from the fair's official website. Follow @FletchersDogs on Twitter to learn where the corn dogs will pop up next.

In the mean time, you can celebrate National Corn Dog Day on March 21 by planning your trip to the Lone Star State. Everything really is bigger in Texas!


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