A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 17, 2005
Rochester: White Hots; Pop Opens
Rochester hot dogs are often called "white hots" or "pop opens."

7 August 1933, Zanesville (Ohio) Signal, pg. 5 ad:
WHITE-HOTS
This sausage was originated exclusively for Kroger stores and contains little pig pork trimmings and veal, uniformly spiced so that the full flavor is brought out. White Hots may be prepared by frying over a slow flame until they reach a golden brown color. They are especially suited for grilling for picnics and outings. Visit your nearest Kroger Meat Market now and ask for White Hots.

29 September 1933, Salamanca (NY) Republican-Press, pg. 2 ad:
Try Our Home Made
White Hots
(...)
AHRENS'
MARKET

20 April 1983, New York Times, "Rochester's Own: A Hot Dog With Zing," by Richard D. Lyons, pg. C3:
The Rochester White Hot is a frankfurter made with veal, pork, mustard, paprika and other spices, then charcoal broiled to order over a fire of hickory chips, and served with a sauce that blends onions, peppers, relish, vinegar and molasses. The effect ranges from a blowtorch to a forest fire, depending on the aggressiveness of the other garnishes selected.

White Hots and the larger versions called the Big White and the White Foot are the inspirations of Donad Zabkar, a 28-year-old entrepreneur who runs Zab's Hot to Trot, a rapidly expanding company, with his four brothers and their sister.

"Before we opened there wasn't anywhere in Rochester where you could buy a charcoil-broiled hot dog, or even a place that specialized in different varieties of hot dogs," Mr. Zabkar explained the other day.

27 April 1983, New York Times, Letter to the Editor by Carolyn H. Downing, pg. C10:
I enjoyed greatly your piece about the native cuisine of Rochester and the growing popularity of the White Hot. I must take issue, however, with Mr. Zabkar's claim to the invention of the Rochester White Hot. White Hots were a very popular item in Rochester long before Mr. Zabkar was born. I was introduced to them more than 30 years ago while visiting my sister and her husband in Rochester. It was a case of love at first bite. They are absolutely the best of the wurst.

There is a sister product, the Red Hot, which is also delicious, but not for the faint of heart.

27 April 1983, New York Times, Letter to the Editor by Evelyn F. Elkodsi, pg. C10:
I enjoyed the article about Rochester White Hots ["Rochester's Own, a Hot Dog With Zing," April 20]. However, no mention was made that White Hots have been known in Rochester for years. I recall with nostalgia enjoying a grilled White Hot on the short of Lake Ontario in the 40's and 50's. Ask any older native of the city. They were manufactured by a local sausage company (name forgotten) and distributed locally.

16 October 1985, New York Times, pg. B2:
Originally manufactured in the 1920's as a poor man's hot dog made of the less desirable meat parts, the white hot dog later evolved into a top of the line sausage, according to J. Michael Zabkar Jr., the president of Zab's. (...) A white hot dog contains less fat, is not smoked and is cooked with "natural sodium rather than salt," he said.

24 August 1988, Washington Post, "Ordering the Best Ethnic Sausages by Mail," by Margaret Engel, pg. E1:
Grilling expert, Donald Zabkar, of Zab's Backyard Hots, outside Rochester, N.Y., explains that cooks should never just put a hot dog or sausage directly over the red coals. (It goes without saying that the meats should never be put on the grill frozen, but should have been defrosted overnight in the refrigerator.)

"Let them temper on the edge {of the grill}," Zabkar related. When they've cooked through, "then you can move them over the heat. It's very important to cook the inside and not just have the outside grilled."

With Zabkar's white and red Rochester hotdogs, cooking the dogs until they burst is "coup de grace for fine wienering," as he puts it.

Grilled red and white hots were a Rochester specialty that was in danger of culinary extinction until Zabkar and his two older brothers, Michael and David, rescued the hometown food by hiring a local packer to once again turn out the specialty.

Zab's mild white "tube steak" contains veal, ham and beef, plus paprika, mustard, milk powder and spices. The red dog has some food coloring and preservatives, but is thinner, longer and much better-tasting than America's usual hot dog. The casing is extremely thin and the meat a combination of beef and pork.

7 October 1990, Boston Globe, pg. 41:
There are better franks on the market now than there used to be. One brand, called White Hots -- all-beef franks made in Rochester, New York -- is spicier and lighter in color than ordinary hot dogs and delicious with homemade beans.

15 July 2001, New York Times, "Hold the Homogeneity: Hot Dogs Stay Local," by Glenn Collins, pg. 3.6:
Like Usinger and Thumann, many other hot dog manufacturers are family businesses, rich in history. Usinger dates to 1880, Thumann to 1949. Among their many cousins, in spirit at least, count the Cloverdale Foods Company of Mandan, N.D.; Farmer John Hot Dogs from the Clougherty Packing Company of Los Angeles; Sahlen's Smokehouse Hot Dogs from the Sahlen Packing Company of Buffalo; Vienna Beef frankfurters from the Vienna Sausage Manufacturing Company of Chicago; and Zweigle's White Hots from Zweigle's Inc. of Rochester.
(...)
Besides taste preferences, the large companies must contend with localized variation in cooking hot dogs. They can be steamed, boiled, broiled, grilled, fried and microwaved. Color differs, too: Red hot dogs in some areas of the South and Midwest are tinted with red dye, while Rochester has its legendary ''white hots,'' pork franks that are decidedly pale.

(Google Groups)
Re: What are the best tasting hot dogs?
No sordid comments please... The hot dogs are called pop-opens and they're common in upstate New York (Buffalo, Rochester). Anybody else here had them? ...
rec.food.cooking - Jul 19, 1998 by RobDgot - View Thread (63 articles)

(Google)
red hots hot dog
... Italian Beefs, Pulled pork sandwiches, Pizza Puffs http://www.bubbys.net Zweigle's Hot Dogs,
NYPC Zweigles Hot Dog, Red Hots, White Hots, Pop Opens, Porkers, Florida ...
http://www.bestcasinodeals.com/130/red-hots-hot-dog.html - 25k

(Google)
Hot Dog Cart, Vending Cart, hot dog carts, barbecue equipment, bbq ZWIEGLES FAMOUS HOT DOGS AND SAUSAGE WITH ANY CART PURCHASE TILL THE END OF THIS ... 3
LARGE SLEEVES OF ZWEIGLES FAMOUS WHITE HOTS POP OPENS; 3 SLEEVES OF ZWEIGLES ...
http://www.aaaahotdogcarts.com/ - 7k - Cached - Similar pages

(Google)
White Hots, Hot Dogs, NYPC
... One case is 12, one pound packages, 72 hot dogs. Once we have your orders we will advise you of your delivery date. ... Texas Brand Red Hots Pop Opens. ...
http://www.rochesterhotdogs.com/ - 15k - Cached - Similar pages

(Trademark)
Word Mark POP OPEN
Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 029. US 046. G & S: FRANKFURTERS. FIRST USE: 19640400. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19640400
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 72266770
Filing Date March 15, 1967
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Supplemental Register Date January 18, 1968
Registration Number 0846072
Registration Date March 12, 1968
Owner (REGISTRANT) MAPLECREST SAUSAGE COMPANY, INC. CORPORATION NEW YORK 714 RIDGE ROAD WEST ROCHESTER NEW YORK 14615
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register SUPPLEMENTAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

(Trademark)
Word Mark POP OPEN
Goods and Services IC 029. US 046. G & S: processed meat sausage. FIRST USE: 19640000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19640000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75143350
Filing Date August 1, 1996
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition October 28, 1997
Registration Number 2129969
Registration Date January 20, 1998
Owner (REGISTRANT) ZWEIGLES'S Inc. CORPORATION NEW YORK 651 Plymouth Avenue Rochester NEW YORK 14608
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
Posted by Barry Popik
New York State • (0) Comments • Sunday, April 17, 2005 • Permalink