If it wasn't for Texas, the world wouldn't have corn dogs...or would they? Crunchy, deep-fried, and served on a stick, corn dogs are usually found at fairs, carnivals, and amusement parks alongside favorites like funnel cakes and ice cream. Like most popular food, the origin of the corn dog is heavily debated. Pronto Pup at the Minnesota State Fair claimed their stake in 1941 as well as the Cozy Dog Drive-in in Springfield, Illinois in 1946, however, Carl and Neil Fletcher of Fletcher's Corny Dogs claim they invented the original corny dog back in 1938 and debuted it in 1942 at the State Fair of Texas.
Fletcher's Corny Dogs are a Bite of Texas History
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Just like with most successful family businesses, the true story behind Fletcher's Original State Fair Corny Dogs comes down to perseverance. The first year that Fletcher?s served their fried invention at the State Fair people didn?t know what it was. They had never seen anything like it before. In fact, they had to cut them in half and give away samples before people were willing to try it. That year they brought home $8,000 at 15c each during the 17 days. It took years of persistence, product evolution, patience and determination to become the Texas staple it is today. To everyone out there who have dreams of creating something special, do it now and don't give up until your vision comes alive! ?
According to Fletcher's Original Corny Dogs, brothers Neil and Carl Fletcher decided to put their Vaudeville careers behind them and open up a food booth at Fair Park. While brainstorming, Neil brought up a local baker on Oak Lawn Ave who "served a dish of hot dogs baked in cornmeal in the shape of an ear of corn". While good, the process was time-consuming and complicated. So the brothers decided to fry the concoction on a stick, making it portable at the same time.
It wasn't an instant success. The duo sold the Fletcher's Original State Fair Corny Dogs for 15 cents, but fairgoers were skeptical of the new food. The brothers took to handing out samples to bring in customers. Soon after the dog stands became an instant hit at the fair.
Today the brand sells five different varieties of corny dogs including the Original, the Jalapeno & Cheese, the Bird Dog, the Veggie Dog, and the Cheezy Pup. Along with selling at the Texas State Fair every year, Fletcher's Corny Dogs also travel to pop-up events around Dallas and Houston. And starting September 2020, Fletcher's Corny Dogs will be available at UNT football games in Denton, Texas. Yum!
How to Make Corn Dogs
Making your own corn dogs at home is a fun project to take on with the whole family! In a bowl combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder and add in honey, egg, and buttermilk. Whisk to combine, then dip in hot dogs and fry until golden brown. Serve with mustard and ketchup.