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Courtesy photo.




German Origins
A frank history of NH’s hot dogs

08/10/17
By Matt Ingersoll listings@hippopress.com



 The hot dog originated in Frankfurt, Germany — hence the name frankfurter or “frank” — and even the origins of hot dogs in the Granite State can be traced directly back to German practices.

The former W.F. Schonland Co. in Manchester, known for its natural-casing franks, was at one time the largest hot dog seller in northern New England, according to Eugene Van Loan, whose great-great-grandfather Carl Heinrich Schonland founded the factory in 1883.
“He was born in Germany and was a butcher and sausage-maker who came to the United States in the 1850s,” Van Loan, who worked for the company growing up, said. “He actually settled in Massachusetts and became a naturalized citizen there before coming up to Manchester.”
The company had a few different homes in the Queen City before moving to its eventual longtime location on Blaine Street around the year 1920, Van Loan said. In the decades that followed, the W.F. Schonland Co. became a large commercial enterprise, selling and shipping its natural-casing hot dogs to supermarkets and small grocery stores all over the Granite State and beyond.
“They used to hand-make everything just how they did in Germany, though eventually everything became semi-automated,” he said. “...The natural-casing frankfurt was [made of] sheep intestines. There’s something about that which gives it a special flavor. … “Ninety-nine percent of every other hot dog you would ever buy is what they call an artificial casing, meaning it is not created by forcing the meat into a sheep’s gut using the spout from a stuffing machine, but rather forced into some kind of semi-plastic.”
Herb Langer, a longtime production manager for the Schonland Co., said it grew into more than just a meat-packing factory over the years, buying other local companies and manufacturing other meats like hams, chicken pies and pork pies, and other stuffed meats like bologna and liverwurst in addition to frankfurters.
The Schonland Company was eventually sold to the Massachusetts-based Kayem Foods in 1987. But the Schonland brand is still found on Kayem’s natural-casing hot dogs, which are available at the deli counters of most area supermarkets. 





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