A big Russian lady, who seemed to be the household cook, supervised the making of zakuski — Russian hors d’oeuvres, which unfortunately didn’t include Pigs In A Blanket. What kind of party is this?Nelson DeMille
What kind of party, indeed! For those who may not be as familiar with Pig In A Blanket, this has the potential to become an absolutely favorite celebration. Pigs in a Blanket have been a mainstay of children’s cuisine in America for generations, and can even be found in local variations from cultures all over the world.
While the concept is simple, the execution can be surprisingly complex. And with such a delicious variety, most people (especially children!) never get tired of what seems like such a basic treat!
Pig in a Blanket Day offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy, honor and celebrate this unique and glorious food.
History of National Pig in a Blanket Day
Pigs In A Blanket are a simple concept and have been found throughout the world in many variations for many years throughout history. The process of making them is simple: take a sausage (or hot dog or some other type of cased meat) and wrap it up (in a bread or dough or American biscuit) and then cook it!
Some sources give credit for the recipe to Betty Crocker, who printed a version with the name in a 1957 cookbook. However, everyone knows that these little snacks go back way further than that, spanning time and culture. So although Betty Crocker may not get credit for the idea, she probably was the first to put the name in print, which caused it to become a well-known term in the United States.
Usually, these treats can be found wrapped in some form of pastry, with puff pastry being one of the most universally popular “blankets”. Unsurprising, the rich meaty flavor and texture of the sausage plays beautifully with the flaky delicate flavor of the puff pastry! But that’s hardly the only thing these little treats can be wrapped in.
In Mexico, these delightful little snacks are known as Salchitacos, a combination of salchicha (which means sausage) and the almost universally recognizable taco. Here, they are wrapped in tortillas before being dunked into sizzling hot vegetable oil.
One of the unique varieties of Pigs in a Blanket can be found in China, where the meat is wrapped in a pastry that is steamed instead of being fried or baked. There it is known as “Lap Cheong Bao”. Sometimes, in Asia, these are wrapped in cabbage leaves.
Perhaps our favorite international variation is the nakkipiilo, which is the Finnish word for what English speakers call Pigs In A Blanket. This version means, cleverly enough, “hidden sausage”.
Needless to say in each of these areas there are local variations that make them stand out as a dish all their own! And Pigs in a Blanket Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all of these delectable dishes.
How to Celebrate National Pig in a Blanket Day
Celebrating Pig in a Blanket Day can be a delightful way to enjoy this yummy, fun treat with friends, family or even coworkers.
Try out these superb ideas for spending the day:
Eat Pigs in a Blanket
Start the day off right by planning to have pigs in a blanket at every meal! For breakfast, it’s easy to take breakfast sausages and wrap them up in instant pop-up biscuit dough before cooking them in the oven! For lunch-time, plan to have this well-loved version: simply roll out some puff pastry, coat it in ketchup, and wrap it around a hot dog for an Israeli Moshe Ba’Teiva (Moses in the Ark).
Later in the day, it’s time to wrap it all up with dinner that boasts a distinguished Würstchen im Schlafrock, or “sausage in a dressing gown”. This is a delicious sausage wrapped in bacon, wrapped in cheese, and then wrapped in puff pastry! Doesn’t that sound amazing?
Host a Pigs in a Blanket Day Party
Although celebrating this day alone is fine, it can be that much better when including friends, family or neighbors! Or, grab a few coworkers and host a little mini party in the breakroom at the office. For the party menu, it’s obvious that Pigs in a Blanket will be the featured dish! Try these ideas to make it creative:
- Use a pie plate or other round bowl to serve short piggies, made from mini hot dogs and wrapped in dough. Place the pigs in the shape of a “peace sign” (a circle around the outside edge and three half-lines that meet in the middle) and then fill the empty spaces with dips and sauces.
- Another fun way to serve them is to place uncooked short piggies wrapped in dough on a baking sheet in two concentric circles. Sprinkle with some fancy spices such as caraway seeds to gourmet it up a bit.
- Make tiny chili cheese pretzel bites by wrapping a small hot dog in pretzel dough lined with a spoonful of chili. Wrap tightly (so the chili doesn’t come out) and bake.
Try a Dessert Version
Pigs in a blanket don’t have to be savory! Try wrapping a banana inside phyllo dough that is spread with Nutella or peanut butter. Then bake for a delicious, sweet treat.
Or try wrapping mini sausages in cinnamon roll dough and baking for a sweet and savory mix-up. This same version can be made with French toast instead of the cinnamon roll dough, just for variety. Serve with maple syrup for dipping.
For a sweet, vegetarian version, try wrapping dates in a croissant dough, bake, and then serve with honey. No matter which way they are enjoyed most, Pigs In A Blanket Day is a perfect chance to try them all, and maybe even create some new variations!