It might be difficult to believe that the humble hot dog has a role to play in world peace, but these yummy treats have long been an important part of US diplomatic efforts.
From the Queen to the Israeli prime minister, hot dogs have been used to engage world leaders and foster friendship among nations for decades.
The official term for it is hot dog diplomacy, and it makes perfect sense. After all, hot dogs are both an iconic symbol of America, and a fantastic ice breaker – whether you’re hosting a party for friends or the president of Russia!
Here are six examples of hot dog diplomacy in action.
1. Food for Kings and Queens at Hyde Park, New York
In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited the King and Queen of England to an American-style picnic at his Hyde Park hilltop retreat, Top Cottage. Thrilling the American press, the royals were served hot dogs on the front porch – apparently much to the horror of the president's mother!
The dogs were served on a silver tray, and the New York Times reports that King George VI ate from a paper plate and asked for another. However, in true royal fashion, the Queen is said to have used a knife and fork after asking her host, "How do you eat this?" The visit marked the first time a reigning British monarch had toured America, and with war in Europe on the horizon, it heralded a significant turning point in the relationship between the two countries.
2. A feast for lawyers
Who knows if Queen Elizabeth II was returning the favour in 1957, but she certainly made a splash by serving hot dogs at a royal banquet for the visiting American Bar Association. We can't imagine Buckingham Palace was ever the same again.
3. First hot dog for Russian leader
In 1959, Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, conducted an historic tour of the United States. As one does on a trip to the USA, he's said to have tried his first hot dog at a packing plant in Des Moines. Apparently, before he could take his first bite, the hot dog had to be checked for radiation by a Geiger counter.
4. Camp David cookout
In the summer of 1970, a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne arrived in Washington DC on their first trip to the United States. A visit to Camp David for a picnic included shooting, swimming and, you guessed it, hot dogs. President Nixon's daughters were the mastermind hostesses.
5. The kosher hot dog
At a 1999 summit involving President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, hot dogs were the food of choice. This time, however, they were high quality kosher dogs.
6. Hot dog carts for Iranian diplomats
Finally, President Barack Obama's efforts in hot dog diplomacy led to Iranian diplomats being invited to join Fourth of July barbecues at US embassies in 2009. Unfortunately, the mighty power of the hot dog stand wasn't enough this time, as the Iranians were disinvited after election protests began that year.
With such a phenomenal career, where to for the hot dog from here? The tastebuds of future kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers will surely let us know – and we can't wait to find out!