"The enthusiasm of West Virginia hot dog fans for their dogs is nothing short of amazing," said NHHSC Vice President of Public Affairs Eric Mittenthal. "It was clear early on in the tournament that chili was a favorite topping amongst hot dog fans, and once West Virginians started rallying to support their hot dog, the competition was over."
While the West Virginia Hot Dog Blog did not submit the West Virginia hot dog to the competition, Means believes it was included "on the merit of its entire body of work." The top dogs at West Virginia Hot Dog Blog became aware of the competition last week and called out the troops to vote.
"When it came to our attention, we hit Facebook and Twitter and did what we could to get the vote out. We have about 3,300 Facebook likes, and our blog gets about a couple hundred hits per day. So we have a pretty big following," Means said.
Means said the typical West Virginia dog includes chili sauce, slaw, mustard and onions despite the lack of onions in the contest.
"Certainly a real West Virginia hot dog needs to have onions, that was potentially an unfortunate typo," Means said. "But most of West Virginia shares that hot dog culture that includes chili, slaw, mustard and onions as standard toppings for a hot dog. It started in the Charleston area in a little place toward Sissonville -- The Stopette Drive In -- in the 1920s. They started putting slaw on their chili dogs, and it became a big hit and scattered everywhere throughout the state. It is really a West Virginia creation."
Means said about 45 out of the 55 counties have a hotdog that comes standard with chili sauce, slaw, mustard and onions. The culture is dominant through most parts of the state, save for Marion County and counties in the Northern and Eastern panhandles.
"You have places like Yann's in Fairmont that stubbornly refuse to sell slaw. It's a Marion County thing -- they're the slawless part of the state. Not only do they not like it, they actively pursue its abolishment," Means said. "Most places sell it, though. Unless they don't want to be in business."
In addition to the West Virginia dog being crowned the overall tournament champion, National Hot Dog and Sausage Council fans won prizes, including T-shirts and a gift card for their favorite hot dogs or sausages, for voting and sharing with their friends.
The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, based in Washington, D.C., was established in 1994 and conducts research to benefit hot dog and sausage manufacturers. The Council also serves as an information resource on issues related to quality, safety, nutrition and preparation of hot dogs.Contact writer Candace Nelson at Candace.Nel...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5148. Follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/Candace07.