Found in and around Washington DC, the half smoke is a type of sausage that's popular at area restaurants. One in particular, visited by Barack Obama not long before his inauguration as President of the Unites States, is Ben's Chili Bowl. Raymond Briggs, of Washington's Briggs and Co. started selling them around 1930.
Halfsmokes resemble hot dogs, but are made using more spices, are larger, with the meat being more coarsely ground. Even though the name implies it, the sausages aren't always smoked. Usually found grilled, they are also served steamed. You can find these sausages sold off of hot dog carts in the DC area.
Where the name came from nobody is sure of. Some think it's because the sausages are often cut in half on the grill. Others because it's smoked halfway, whatever that is. Or it could be that they are usually made half beef, half pork, though all beef versions can be found.
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