BYConstance Gibbs
National Corn Dog Day is the third Saturday in March.

The third Saturday in March is National Corn Dog Day. Fill up on some facts about the state fair staple.

The contested history of the corn dog

There are several people who claim to be the “first” to invent the corn dog. From a 1927 patent to two separate families coming up with the idea in separate states.

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The exact origin of the corn dog is kind of a deep fried mess. There are, naturally, several claimants to the “first” corn dog:

A 1927 Buffalo, N.Y.,patent application from Stanley S. Jenkins for a machine that would fry battered foods on sticks. Despite the patent approval in ’29, Jenkins disappeared into obscurity. The 1930s Oregon “Pronto Pup” — George Boyington and his wife dipped their dogs in batter during a rainy weekend full of soggy hot dog buns. They trademarked their Pronto Pups in 1942 and are still sold both at Rockaway Beach, Ore., where they were created, at state fairs and sold frozen in stores and online nationwide. Also in 1942, the Fletcher brothers debuted their “Corny Dogs” at the Texas State Fair. They still call themselves “the original corny dog.”

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Batter Up

Corn dog are made with hot dogs dipped in cornmeal batter (mixed with eggs and milk) then fried.

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Cornmeal batter is what puts the corn in corn dog. Traditionally a hot dog on a stick is dipped in the batter, then fried until golden brown. Usually eaten plain or with mustard, people have snazzed the fried delight with bratwurst, cheese, jalapeños, replacing cornmeal with pancake or beer batter, baking instead of frying — even wrapping in bacon. Mmmmm. You can’t go wrong with bacon.

Where you can find ‘em

Corn Dogs are a state fair staple.

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Corn dogs are state fair staples, like funnel cake and cotton candy, but you can also get them at Coney Island, Sonic restaurants, or even the freezer aisle of your local supermarket, where State Fair and other corn dog brands are sold.

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Stick standings

They really put anything on a stick these days.

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As far as foods on a stick go, corn dogs are a staple of the genre, but pretty middle of the road. Other delicacies in the ever-increasing oeuvre include cake pops (awesome!), kebabs (delicious, yet manageable), pies (messy) and salads (what are you doing?). Corn dogs tend to have a bad rap as “gross” but maybe that’s just from stories of overindulgence and the general vagueness over what is exactly in a hot dog casing.

Chow Down

In 1992, Brady Sahnow and Henry Otley began the celebrating National Corn Dog Day in Oregon when Sahnow’s father made the guys corn dogs for maximum interruption-free snacking during the NCAA basketball tournament. Since then, Corn Dog Day is always the third Saturday in March, to coincide with the beginning of March Madness. Fans of the corn dog have taken to putting together parties all across the country. Tater tots are also welcome.

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