What Makes Sonoran Dogs Unique?

Just south of Arizona and New Mexico lies Sonora, Mexico, a place that is known for its deserts, archaeological sites, and scenic beaches, per Visit Mexico. Meals here often consist of the famous carne asada cooked over charcoals, as well as fresh seafood, Sonoran flour tortillas, and the Sonoran-style hot dog, via Everyday Southwest.

Atlas Obscura states that the origins of this fusion dog aren't quite clear, as some reports suggest Mexico City as its birthplace, while others point to Hermosillo, which is the capital city of Sonora. Either way, the Sonoran-style hot dog took off in Arizona, particularly in Tucson and Phoenix, where they were tweaked with a few American condiments. To this day, such hot dogs are sold by "dogueros," aka hot dog cart vendors, who are happy to set up shop in parking lots, per NBC News. The environment is humble as customers sit on nearby chairs and tables long after the sun has set to enjoy this Mexican and American collaboration.

So what does this hot dog consist of and why is it so special? In one word: Bacon.

The bacon-wrapped hot dog

Bacon adds a fatty, heavenly twist to almost any kind of food. Tired of bland green beans? Wrap 'em in bacon. Need an appetizer idea for your next dinner party? Try bacon-wrapped shrimp. And you know what else pairs a little too well with bacon? Hot dogs.

Now, sure, a bacon-wrapped hot dog by itself is certainly a winner, but if you want the true Sonoran-style experience, you have to add a mountain of the following toppings: Pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, relish, grilled onions and peppers, salsa, cheese, and drizzles of mayo and mustard, per NHDSC. This may vary, though, depending on the hot dog cart, as Atlas Obscura explains that some vendors may add crushed potato chips and/or nacho cheese to the hot dogs. And if you're venturing down to Sonora, Mexico, you'll find the region's own version of the Sonora-style hot dog. Everyday Southwest explains that a customer may find Mexican crema sauce, cooked beans, guacamole pico de gallo, and salsa as the typical fixings, though this also seems to vary depending on which city you're in. 

So why is the Sonoran-style hot dog so special? Because it effortlessly combines American and Mexican ingredients together. Also because you are getting fatty, fresh, and smoky flavors in one hot dog. And if nothing else, it's really, really good.