Native Maine Local Lore

4th of July, WA Bean, Red hot dogs!!

Hi Ho Everyone! Welcome to a special mini Fourth of July issue of Local Lore! Read on for 4th of July food fun facts, a local, vendor profile, and a tribute to red hot dogs.

July 4 Fun Facts

  • 150 million hot dogs are eaten during the July 4 holiday; Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs per year!
  • 74 million Americans will attend a barbecue on the 4th. In order of highest preference, we’ll grill burgers, steak, hot dogs and chicken.
  • Watermelon is the #1 dessert and baked beans are the #1 side dish.
  • Over 68 million cases of beer are sold during the holiday; this accounts for 5% of annual beer sales nationwide!

Vendor Spotlight: W.A. Bean & Sons
4 Million of those 150 million hot dogs were made right here in Maine by one of Native Maine’s top vendors, W.A.Bean! Over 150 years old and spanning 5 generations, WA Bean provides our customers great sausage, smoked poultry, natural casing hot dogs, and delicious honey-glazed hams (a winter holiday favorite!).

In 1860, Albert Bean came to Bangor and set up shop as a butcher on Ohio Street. In a few years  his one-man operation grew into a slaughterhouse and a major meat wholesaler, on its way to 150 years of family-owned success. 1918 was a special year: after decades of making sausages, the company began making hot dogs, which would become a signature product still popular today. By 1919, the company was officially "W. A. Bean and Sons," as sons, grandsons and granddaughters worked in and grew the business. Spiral-sliced glazed hams, red-hot hot dogs and chicken sausages were introduced to entice customers.  Most recently, WA Bean introduced Haggis to their product roster; made from sheep’s pluck and heavily spiced, it’s a Scottish staple, but nobody else is doing it in Maine. The company also produces tripe, once very popular but now truly a niche market for W. A. Bean.

downloadMore on those red hot dogs:

  • Once produced by W.A.Bean, C.H.Rice Company, and Jordan’s Meats, Schonland Brothers and other local sausage producers, W.A. Bean is now the sole producer in Maine.
  • Schonland Brothers is considered the originator of the Red Natural Casing Hot Dog here in Maine. They did this to differentiate their product from the competition.
  • Interestly, W.A.Bean produces their own recipe red hot dog and they now co-produce a red snapper hot dog using the Rice’s family recipe still owned by that family!
  • What is a red hot dog? They're natural casing beef and pork franks, dyed with a healthy dose of FD&C Red #40. Great boiled or grilled, they have a serious snap and look great with just a streak of bright yellow mustard.
  • And though we consider red hot dogs one of our Native foods here, believe it or not, the red hot dog phenomenon is not confined to Maine.
  • In northern New York state, Glazier Packing Company makes bright red beef and pork dogs that end up slathered in Michigan sauce (a vinegary, tomato based meat sauce).
  • Red frankfurters can also be found scattered across the South—from Georgia's famous Nu-Way to Virginia and Mississippi. Then in Hawaii you've got Redondo's Winners used for everything from breakfast to nori-wrapped hot dog musubi, and even red hot dogs in the Philippines, where they cook them up with spaghetti.

So you see, you can travel the world eating red hot dogs!!! Bon Voyage and Bon Appetit!!!

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July everybody!!!

Local You Know

At Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods we're working hard to connect our customers with the freshest, quality produce & specialty products available. We believe in supporting New England's vibrant and diverse food system by providing locally grown & processed food items alongside some of the world’s best specialty foods sourced from around the globe.

As one of New England’s leading produce wholesale distributors with 3000+ quality items in stock, our 2000+ New England customers have access to local, regional & hard to find specialty foods delivered frequently at very competitive prices. We are your neighbors; we are the Local You Know.

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