If you live in Barcelona, ​​you’ll know that sneakers are called bambas,you say thanks in French and hot dogs are called frankfurts.

Surely walking through La Rambla you’ve noticed the number of establishments announcing ‘frankfurt’. Like ‘bikini’, ‘bambas’ or saying thank you with the French word merci, is one of these expressions that give personality to Catalan culture. And it makes sense. To understand why hot dogs are called frankfurt in Barcelona, you have to go back more than a hundred years. Specifically to 1912.

The 1888 Universal Exhibition made Barcelona the capital of the world. The event showed off the economic, social and cultural potential of the city; a land with all the chances to become great. As a consequence, at the beginning of the 20th century, the first tourist groups arrived accompanied with a world of business opportunities.

In this context, a German pork butcher named Max Zander gets to the city. It was r 1912, the story of child murderer Vampira del Raval occupied the front pages of local newspapers, Gaudí was working in Park Güell and artists and witers had fun partying around Paralel, La Rambla and the Gothic Quarter. At that time nobody knew what a sausage was, neither there was a variety of them!

Frankfurt sasuages from Germany.


And then came Frankfurt

Zander was specialized in making Frankfurt-type sausages (or Frankfurter Würstchen) and selling them to delicatessens shops in the city. These sasuages are characterized by being made of pork stuffed in sheep’s gut (do not put that face, you know very well that this week you fall). La Boqueria, for example, was one of the busiest places to get this product.

At first, Mr. Zander only sold his frankfurters to his German colleagues. However, the product became popular. However, it was only sold at traveling fairs (they were successful at the International Exposition of 1929) and specific spots. It would be necessary to wait until the 1950s for the first specialized establishment to open in Terrassa. Then came the Sixth American Fleet, with its dollars, Coca-Cola and that mania to refer to the Frankfurt as “hot dog.” That nickname was not succesfull amont the youth of Barcelona, ​​who preferred to stay true to the origins of this street food. Until today.