Food - Drink
The Real Reason New England Hot Dog Rolls Are Split Along The Top
By ELIAS NASH
Many regions of the U.S. have their own versions of the hot dog, from the veggie-heavy Chicago dog to the Seattle dog with cream cheese. However, one curious detail about New England hot dogs has to do with the bun, not the sausage: New Englanders split the bun along the top, leaving the crumb of the bread open and exposed on either side.
The New England split bun can be traced back to the late 1940’s, when motel chain Howard Johnson's asked bakery J.J. Nissen to create a roll for fried clam sandwiches that could stand upright, to make eating more convenient. Back then, all hot dog buns were sold in two separate slices, not split midway through so they could be opened and closed.
J.J. Nissen came up with their own custom rolls that were split along the top, and the exposed crumb on the buns could be buttered and toasted easily, making them hugely popular for all sorts of sandwiches. Today, most hot dog buns are split with the bread's crumb on the inside, while New England-style buns remain a regional favorite.