You can eat any old hot dog, but when you’re adventuring near the Grand Canyon, try a local specialty in the formof a Sonoran Dog. What makes these so special to the area? They’re an Arizona creation with a dog placed in a bolillo roll and topped with beans, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and even jalepenos. Oh, and the hot dog — it has to also be wrapped in bacon.

The history of the Sonoran

The melting pot of Mexican ingredients and a traditional American hot dog has invented a tasty treat that’s excellent for enjoying fireside at your next campout. Often said to have been invented (or at least popularized) on competing University of Sonora campus food carts in 1993, the Sonoran dog has made it to not only regional but national fame as a food of pride in the American Southwest.

What you’ll need

There’s more than just traditional hot dog mustard to keep track of when making your shopping list for these dogs. Here’s a breakdown of traditional ingredients, but check out popular recipes as well before you get going.

Basic ingredients:

  • Hot dog
  • Bacon
  • Bolillo bread buns (can substitute crusty rolls or even baguettes in a pinch, since this Mexican bread was inspired by the French)
  • Pinto beans
  • Onions
  • Chopped tomatoes or pico de gallo
  • Mustard
  • Mayonaise or Mexican crema

Optional toppings:

  • Cheese (cheddar, queso fresco, or cotija)
  • Salsa verde
  • Guacamole or avocado slices
  • Pickled jalapeños

You can create your Sonoran by wrapping a strip of bacon around a hot dog and skewering the sausage on a grilling fork, or adding several to a clamp-style cooker (or use a fire-friendly skillet). Make sure to cook your bacon thoroughly by turning it frequently over the flames. Slice open your buns, and toast slightly so they’re ready to hold all your delicious toppings. When your hot dog is cooked, add it to the bun and then pile on ingredients as desired. Top with a drizzle of mayo and/or mustard and enjoy!

Never made a bacon-wrapped hot dog? Check out this video from someone who loves to do it right. Fry it in a pan, if you like, over your campfire:

Where to find one

You can pick up a Sonoran dog at many locations in Arizona, including El Güero Canelo in Tuscon, AZ andNogales Hot Dogs in Phoenix, AZ. You can also find them at any number of local food carts around Tuscon, AZ and the region. You’ll find the ingredients might change slightly, depending on the chef in charge, but at each Sonoran’s heart, will be one delicious bite after another.

(Photo credit: Kate Hopkins/Flickr)

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