In the heart of New England, where lobsters reign supreme, lies a little culinary quirk that leaves tourists scratching their heads and locals grinning from ear to ear.  We're talking about the legendary red hot dog of Maine, which we like to call the “red snapper”.

I had a friend of mine who now lives in Atlanta. He recently brought his fiancé to Maine, and she was extremely confused when dinner was served. The look on her face was priceless.


According to a 2019 story conducted by legendary News Center Maine reporter Bill Green, Red Snappers, made famous here in Maine, were removed from the market when the manufacturer, Fred Rice, sold his business to Tyson Foods. The company then discontinued making these beloved hot dogs that Mainers could not live without.

He apparently reached out to Tyson to ask if something could be done. They got back to him fairly quickly with permission to continue the production of the red snapper.

What exactly makes the hot dog red? Well, that’s just a simple dye solution. Now how about the snap? According to the interview, the casing is all natural and made from sheep intestine. Sounds yummy, right? I’m sure you could have gone on with your life without knowing that fun fact.

David Bean and Fred Rice are business partners at W.A. Bean and Son in Bangor, which is where they crank out the red snappers every day.

In conclusion, contrary to popular belief, Dave and Fred said that their red snappers are not bad for you. They can’t speak for the rest of the hot dog manufacturers, but theirs are all pork and beef with some secret spices.

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Gallery Credit: Lori Voornas

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