Corndog History


The real story of how the corndog came to fame is as mysterious as the recipes for the secret batter and whether the wooden stick should be round or flat. There are many stories and claims, but frankly (pun intended) we support the contention that the corndog as we know it today originated in Oregon, just like National Corndog Day sprang forth from a bunch of college dudes from Oregon State University. That’s our story and we’re “sticking” to it. So let’s put this to bed once and for all.

There is one simple fact: the U.S. Patent and Trademark office granted G.M. Boyinton of Salem, Oregon, the Pronto Pup batter-dipped, deep-fried hotdogs on a stick patent, and were registered and introduced to American on April 23, 1942. End of story, but just the beginning of something of an amazing story.

A chap named Jack Karnis was reportedly the first Pronto Pup franchisee and ended up as a street vendor in Chicago. Yet another visionary, Bill Brede couldn’t believe the block-long lines and eventually convinced Karnis to allow him to sell corndogs at the Minnesota State Fair in 1947. The rest is history and the Karnis family and Pronto Pups are still at it today. That batter is secret, but the success is not. Today nearly half of all Americans claim that corndogs are their favorite way to eat hotdogs.


Call them what you like, Tater Treats, Mexi-Fries, Potato Puffs, Pom Poms or Tasty Taters, but nothing, and I mean nothing, pairs better with corndogs than Tater Tots. Much like the history of corndogs, Tater Tots were founded in Oregon. Yep, back in 1953 the Griggs brothers founded Ore-Ida in Eastern Oregon and created the phenom called Tater Tots, from the waste trimmings from french fries, and offered them to the public in 1956. Today Tater Tots are a registered trademark of Ore-Ida, which is a division of H.J. Heinz. It is estimated that about 30,000 million pounds of tots are devoured every year. Who knows how many are downed as part of the celebration of National Corndog Day, but we can tell you it’s a lot!


One of a kind. Think about it. Corndogs invented in Oregon. Tater Tots invented in Oregon. National Corndog Day invented in Oregon. It’s a hat trick of gastronomical proportions and you are right smack dab in the middle of the whole thing. It just doesn’t get a whole lot better!