Where did Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs Originate?

Picture of a street vendor selling bacon-wrapped hot dogs

If you haven’t tried a bacon-wrapped hot dog, you’re missing out and probably doing life wrong. This doesn’t apply to the plant-based crowd, obvi. But if you’re a meat-eater, the bacon-wrapped hot dogs are a must-try!

This fine delicacy can be found in the streets of Los Angeles and is often referred to as a ‘danger dog.’ The recipe, of course, has since been exported to other parts of the state and the U.S., but in Los Angeles, vendors are usually found in popular streets after a concert, near nightlife establishments, or other busy parts of the city.

The hot dogs are cooked on stainless steel trays over Sterno heat sources and they are garnished with everything from pico de gallo, grilled onions, jalapeños to your traditional ketchup and mustard. The bacon-wrapped hot dog has no rules. It is its own food category and there is no denying that to some, the combination is questionable. When you do try it, you might be wondering, where the heck did they come from?

The origin of the bacon-wrapped hot dog starts in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, a border state of Arizona. While many speculate on the origin of these fine franks, one theory is that they were first introduced in the 1940s during baseball games. Another theory is that they were introduced by a traveling circus.

Regardless of their origin, we are happy to reap the benefits of this delicious pairing. While proud Californians claim the ‘danger dog’ as a California staple, they have Tucson, Arizona to thank for the popularity that these franks have gained after the dish crossed the Sonora, Arizona border.

Traditionally, the bacon-wrapped hot dogs were wrapped in bolillo, a savory bread similar to a baguette. However, Mexican and US cultures merged to give the bacon-wrapped hot dog a new home in traditional hot dog buns. We can’t say we’re mad about it either. That’s the beauty of cultures merging; bringing the best of two worlds together.

If you visit Los Angeles or Tucson, you will find dozens of street vendors selling Sonoran-style and LA-style hot dogs. If you can’t wait to visit, you can try making one in your home! Simply wrap the bacon tightly around a frank (use toothpicks to hold the bacon in place), grill over medium heat and cook until the bacon is crisp. Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

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