Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Short History On Mexicos Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog

The Hot Dog was first introduced to Mexico in the 1943 by a couple of American entrepreneurs who purchased a concession stand at the Plaza Mexico City bull ring. The entrepreneurs figured Hot Dogs were such a hit with baseball fans in America, they should be just as popular with bullfight fans in Mexico.

It is believed the bacon wrapped Hot Dog with all the trimmings began to appear in 1956. An unidentified Hot Dog cart in Mexico City's Parque de la Alameda began serving bacon wrapped dogs to employees of the newly constructed Torre Latinoamericana. At the time Torre Latinoamericana was then the tallest building in Latin America, and the fourth in height in the world outside New York.

Today you will find the Hot Dog all over Mexico, depending on the region you will see variances on the types of trimmings used and what the dog is called. In California I often hear the bacon wrapped Hot Dog being referred to as a TJ Dog, Tijuana Hot Dog, Street Dog, Dangerous Dog, and Dirty Dog.

I remember in Mexico back in the eighties sinking my teeth into my first bacon wrapped Hot Dog. Crisp thin bacon wrapped around a sizzling Hot Dog, nestled inside a pillow soft steamed bun, topped with ketchup, mayo, mustard, fresh chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped grilled onions, chile on the side, and paired with ice cold Mexican Coke in a glass bottle, sheer heaven!

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog

If you have never had a bacon wrapped Hot Dog the execution is fairly simple. The Hot Dog itself is pretty basic, what really makes it special is the combination of toppings. The carts I frequent use Rosarita brand Hot Dogs and thin sliced bacon. Buns are usually Bimbo brand and should always be steamed. I have seen some vendors in U.S. grill the buns to a crisp but in my opinion the crisp texture should be provided by the bacon not the bun. It’s a matter of personal preference but cheese, or anything other then the essentials I described do not belong in the mix.

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog

One of my favorite spots that has perfected the classic as I described is located in Ensenada just stumbling distant from Hussongs Cantina at the corner of 2nd and Ruiz. The cart is run by Yolanda, who has been serving up savory bacon wrapped Hot Dogs for 14 years.

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs Yolandas Ensenada

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs Yolandas Ensenada

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs Yolandas Ensenada

This is a quick clip if you want to see the sequence



In the United States my favorite rendition of the bacon wrapped Hot Dog is without a doubt the Sonoran Hot Dog available at hundreds of stands in Tucson. The big difference in the Sonoran dog is the bread. The Sonoran Hot Dog is encased in a roll-like bread. The toppings are basically the same as I described above with an addition of jalapeño purée and beans. Some better known stands I usually hit in Tucson are Guero Canelo and BK Hotdogs.

Sonoran Hotdogs

Some spots in Tucson even pair each Hot Dog with a bacon wrapped Chile Guero.

Sonaran Hotdog w chile

So what about my hometown of San Diego? Well San Diego street vendors are virtually non existent, and the sit down places I have tried fall a little short(Sorry Lucha). Los Angeles has some great street vendors however its interesting now because the city has declared an all out war on bacon (See Video). Bacon is a potentially hazardous food,” says Terrence Powell of the LA County Health Department. I Guess it’s so good its illegal! Unless Baja bans bacon you will find me in Ensenada at the corner of 2nd and Ruiz. Where is your favorite spot?

30 comments:

Dennis K. said...

Great post M.A.! Haven't had many but the thinner bacon really makes it for me and I agree about buns being steamed too. Fresh AND grilled onions sounds fantastic! :)

Mike said...

I'll take two, please!

Pearl said...

great post! i found this through your yelp.. :) congrats!

Tim S said...

Another great post! Those dogs look delicious. I have to say though I would pass on the mayo. Makes me gag ;-). Other than that count me in. Thats insane on the last story. 45 days in jail for selling bacon dogs? Something is just not right there. Keep up the great work!

KirkK said...

Hi MA - Wonderful post.....I too have been a bit disappointed in the bacon wrapped dog at LL.

Mexico Cooks! said...

Masa, mi amigo, if you haven't tried spreading your buns (as it were) with mayonnaise and grilling them briefly before loading them up with the hot dog and all the trimmings, you gotta try it.

I know you're a steamed-bun kinda guy, but give this a shot--just once. It brings a whole new dimension to the Mexican hot dog.

Cristina

C-Munz said...

Excuse me sir, would you mind extinguishing your bacon hot dog? I am offended by your second-hand cholesterol!

Bill said...

Can't believe that I've found this post now. Just brings back memories.

Masa Assassin said...

Dennis/Thanks yeah my first attempt at home failed, the bacon was to thick. After watching the vendors I learned to put both fresh and grilled onions.

Mike/I take paypal :P

Pearl/ Thanks so much

Tim S/ I have heard many people that don't like mayo but mixed with all the other goodies they usually convert. Yeah that's crazy about jail time for cooking up the bacon on the wrong type of cart.

Kirk/Thanks I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Cristina, amiga, That sound fantatsic I'm going to have to try that. I also don't like cheese on the dog but based on eatnopales from Chowhounds suggestion I might try it with Cotija.

C-Munz/ Your to funny

Bill/I'm glad I could bring back some memories for you

Anonymous said...

nice photos dude..ehh hmmm
CH

Frugalhomekeeping said...

The food on your blog looks "out-of-this-world" delicious; not low fat! but delicious. Thought you might enjoy my blog today. My Old Cookbook Review is on Mexican cooking! Thanks for the great blog.

Mimi said...

Very cool. The history is really interesting, had no idea!

I actually just posted a recipe for my make-at-home version of this hot dog too!

www.handmadenews.org/article/index.php?id=3197

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the bacon-wrapped hot dogs my mother made when I was a kid; the differences are that the ones I had were split, then had strips of cheese tucked into the split before being wrapped with bacon, and the bacon was toothpicked in place before being baked.

Dazy said...

Can I seriously come over for dinner soon? ...... all the food looks so yummy.....

peter said...

I had a bacon wrapped hot dog in 1986 in d f in chapultapec park. It was delicious. I hadn't thought about it much since. I didn't realize what a phenomena it has become.

P manuel de regil

Masa Assassin said...

Hi peter yes amazing what a phenomena the bacon wrapped hotdog has become.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they use Beef Bacon, would the regulations be the same?

Anonymous said...

just had lunch at a little no name trailer (bigger than a cart) on 22nd St in Tucson and the Sonoran Hot Dogs (Grandes) were superb. Perfectly steamed Bimbo buns and large hot dog wrapped in super thin bacon...and their bacon wrapped pepper stuffed with cheese was also perfection. For "fixed base" fare still say BK Carne Asada is best bet and you can get a Michilada or other beer if you don't want Mexican soda. Salud!

Masa Assassin said...

I will have to check that cart out thanks. I was just in Tucson when you posted this.

D @ Kitchen Closet said...

Next time your in Tucson make sure you hit up the cart known as El Nene, you can usually find it parked outside the Rusty Nail Bar on Whetmore and Flowing Wells. Its seriously one of the best hot dog/taco carts in town. Their Sonoran Dog is fantastic and they have another dog called a Chipilon, which has a toasted bun and cheese inside.

Another place of notice that I have found is Franks/Franciscos on Pima and Alvernon. As Franks by day it is a great breakfast, lunch place, then it closes in the afternoon and reopens at night as Franciscos. As Franciscos they serve Michoacan style, but their Sonoran Style Dog is deep fried after it is wrapped in bacon. Its definately something you have to try because its just that good.

Masa Assassin said...

D @ Kitchen Closet... Thanks so much for the tips they sound amazing. I was just in Tucson a few weeks ago I wish I would have known then.

I will check them out on my next visit and report back.

D @ Kitchen Closet said...

Not a problem, I love spreading the word on El Nene just because most people (unfortunately) don't expect anything that good to come from a taco cart.

While I was eating lunch there today I realized that I seem to end up there at least once a week and always get a sonoran hot dog. I think its a full blown addiction now. But at $2.50 a dog and the rest of the menu is under $5 its an addiction I can afford.

alfred said...

Gotta try the hot dog cart in National City. Las uvas on national city Blvd & 8th. TJ STYLE, steamed buns are perfection. He also grills chiles hueros and green onions. DELICIOUS! we are there every Sunday night.

Omar said...

Great article on the true history of the Mexican Hot Dog. Matter of fact, Farmer John's Co. is having a marketing campaign to name the Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog as the official hot dog of the City of Los Angeles.

Hot Dog Trucks said...

I wish I had known this earlier. I just visited Tucson last month. I would have tried those delicious looking dogs. I'll try those next time I visit there for sure!

ratman90 said...

Marcos hot dogs in LONGMONT Colorado makes these with pinto beans and all kinds of wonderful deadly things! If i die eating i want it to be on one of these. As i will know i am in heaven!

Olivia Carmen Otero said...

where did you get your historical information on the emergence of the hot dog in Mexico City?

DavMorrill said...

My father in law is "one of those American entrepreneurs" who introduced the hot dog to Mexicans but it was more like the late '40's at the Plaza Monumental and in the fan stands ... the story is quite anecdotal...
Hola a todos Uds... !!

Rhodes said...

I had these in Ensenada. I played & sang in Hussongs Cantina in 1985 and there was a vendor selling bacon wrapped hotdogs there (no bun). Tecate was only available in 12 Oz. Cans in the U.S. then and I found it in a glass qt. Also Corona actually tasted good there...not like in U.S. (no idea why)

Anonymous said...

I had my first bacon wrapped hotdog in the City of Obregon in Sonora in 1972, I was a kid, it was amazing I ate 4 of those, in those days I was a bottomless pit. The vendor parked his cart in front of my Grandfather's store. My gramps told me he opened grocery store in 1947 and ever since that time, hotdog and taco arts were always there. I do not know the origin of this but that is what my Grampa said.