I’ve had to do some research on this one because San Francisco isn’t known for it’s hot dogs like New York, but I remember growing up my Mom always used to buy Treasure Island Hot Dogs at the butcher shop [she was a bit too snooty for Oscar Meyer]. All I can remember about them was they were about a foot long when you rarely found a hot dog that long. I don’t remember anything about the taste being special, but I do remember the name so as I said, it was time to do some research.
The first thing I discovered was that we, San Francisco, don’t have the only Treasure Island. Apparently there is also one in Florida that also has a lot of hot dog stands. I don’t know where it is, but I certainly don’t associate Florida with hot dogs. The closest association with Treasure Island and the Hot Dog goes back to the 1939 World’s Fair in San Francisco held on Treasure Island. The interesting part about this story is that the hot dog and hamburger held a rather interesting place there. Because you could buy one and walk away and not have to sit down restaurant style they were not subject to taxation because they weren’t considered meals, but snacks.
That would answer the question why the hot dogs were a foot long. It was just a big snack that you could dump relish, onions, mustard and or ketchup on [these are the typical condiments for hot dogs in San Francisco, no sauerkraut.] So the people who originally came up with the Treasure Island hot dog were kind of trying to make a run around having to pay taxes. Now THAT sounds like old time San Francisco to me. There are apparently hot dog stands on Treasure Island, but I don’t know if they even serve the supposed Treasure Island Hot Dog.
All in all to me a hot dog is a hot dog. It’s a tubular meat delivery device that is more flavored by what you put on in that by itself. If you want to find Treasure Island Hot Dogs for sale you’ll have to go to some old school or high end butcher shops in San Francisco. When I’ve gone into one that has them and asked them why they’re called a Treasure Island Hot Dog no one can tell me. If one of you out there has some more info to share on this let me know. I get a bit OCD at times when I can’t get the answer to my questions.