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A Sonoran hot dog begins simply, as a slim, all-beef frankfurter. The cook wraps the dog in bacon and grills in a trough alongside other bacon-sheathed hot dogs. The hot dogs lined up in the trough shed plenty of grease. That makes the process something like deep frying. The bacon flavor melts into the dog. Streaks of lean patch the outside. Their chew provides marvelous contrast to the frank they embrace.
Few dog fanciers tinker with the lineup of condiments. The cook lays pinto beans in the bun below and on top of the hot dog. Then come chopped tomatoes, onions, yellow mustard, a green ribbon of hot jalapeno sauce, and an artistic squiggle of mayonnaise.
A single roasted guero pepper accompanies most Sonoran hot dogs. Also known as a Santa Fe Grande, the guero resembles a pale jalapeno. (guero = blond.) However, its heat does not reach to the heights of some jalapenos. It does have some punch, so when you bite through the thick wall of this fruity pod and hit its capsicum-charged membrane, the bun that holds it provides welcome tongue relief.
The buns, known as bolillo rolls, do not much resemble ordinary hot dog buns. The “hot-dog estilo Sonora” wants a supple, yeasty loaf fresh from one of the local Mexican bakeries. The man making the hot dogs cuts it to form a capacious pocket with closed ends that will hold all the ingredients. In fact, the bun is sturdy enough and big enough to hold a pair of dressed hot dogs without disintegration. Many people consider a double Sonoran hot dog the best way to go.