Love Corn Dogs? Thank the Rainy Oregon Coast!


Ever wonder who Invented Corn Dogs? Who created Corn Dogs? Who came up with Corn Dogs? Where did Corn Dogs come from?  The answer will surprise you!

Pronto Pups - The Original Corn Dog - Courtesy of Bella Culinary Adventures
Pronto Pups – The Original Corn Dog – Courtesy of Bella Culinary Adventures
I asked Julie Bell to tell me about her small town Rockaway Beach, Oregon. Keep reading to see why this small town is so special.  Much Love, Chrissy 

 

It was the winter of 1938-39, and George and Vera Boyington were struggling. The couple’s hot-dog pushcart had been a popular summertime attraction in the little coastal town of Rockaway Beach, Oregon. But with the coming of winter, their cart was taking a beating. In addition to the seasonal drop in tourism, the Oregon rain was soaking the buns, making them a soggy, inedible mess.

So over that winter, George and Vera came up with a solution — bake the buns around the dog after their customers placed the order. They even came up with a snappy name for the product: the Pronto Pup.

George developed a variation on pancake batter which included cornmeal for crunch and structure. The result cooked quickly while the customer waited, to ensure freshness. The Boyingtons knew they had a hit in 1941, when they sold more than 15,000 Pronto Pups at the Pacific International Livestock Exposition. The Corn Dog was born!

After World War II, the Boyingtons franchised the Pronto Pup, and locations sprang up throughout the country. While few of these franchises remain, there’s one in the town where it all started: The Original Pronto Pup in Rockaway Beach, Oregon.

Located on U.S. Highway 101 at the south end of Rockaway Beach, The Original Pronto Pup is open weekends through summer. Its most recognizable asset: the 30-foot fiberglass corn dog that adorns the roof.  Billed as “the world’s largest corn dog,” it’s visible from the highway as visitors roll in from the south.

Portland attorney Anthony McNamer opened The Original Pronto Pup in 2016, following the Boyington’s original pancake-batter mixture, which includes corn meal for that great corn dog crunch. In addition to a traditional hot dog filling in regular and footlong varieties, customers can savor a Louisiana hot-link corn dog, a vegetarian dog, zucchini in the Pronto Pup batter, and even a Pickle Pup — a dill pickle cased in the Pronto Pup batter and deep-fried to savory crispness. 

Visitors to Rockaway Beach can’t miss the enormous corn dog on top of The Original Pronto Pup - Photo courtesy of Bella Culinary Adventures
Visitors to Rockaway Beach can’t miss the enormous corn dog on top of The Original Pronto Pup – Photo courtesy of Bella Culinary Adventures

It wouldn’t be a Pronto Pup without fries, of course, and these days tots are universally expected. Soft serve ice cream and bottled sodas help cool you down on warm summer days at Rockaway Beach.

Rockaway Beach, OR Corn Dogs - Courtesy of Bella Culinary Adventures
Crispy corn meal around a savory all-beef hot dog, in the little Oregon beach town where it was invented – Courtesy of Bella Culinary Adventures

If you’re looking for an experience you really can’t find anywhere else, try a ride on the mechanical corn dog, a popular way to keep the youngsters entertained while their meal is being prepared. (Children with sensitive tummies should probably ride BEFORE lunch.)

So that’s what they meant when they told the cowboy to get a long little doggie… Photo courtesy of Bella Culinary Adventures
So that’s what they meant when they told the cowboy to get a long little doggie…

While most visitors to the Original Pronto Pup choose the picnic tables just outside to eat their Corn Dogs, there are a few seats indoors in the event that a sudden rain squall makes landfall. But on a sunny day, there’s always Rockaway Beach itself: seven miles of white sand, with the unmistakable “sea serpent” profile of Twin Rocks just to the south.

Rockaway Beach, OR
Rockaway Beach, Oregon Courtesy Of Julie Bell of Bella Culinary Adventures

 

About the Author

French-trained chef and food stylist Julie Bell, along with her food writer and photographer husband Scott Fisher, live in a tiny beach cottage in Rockaway Beach, Oregon, three hundred steps from the sand. Their blog, Bella Culinary Adventures, includes recipes, travel features, and essays on food, wine, and exploring the flavors of the world. Follow their blog for recommendations on Oregon Coast dining and special ingredients.
You can also connect with Julie and Scott on Instagram and Facebook.

 

12 comments

  1. I love the name Pronto Pup! I never thought about getting a zucchini or pickle in the Pronto Pup batter but it sounds like it would be good, definitely different!

    Like

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