/ Last Modified April 25, 2013

Sonoran Hot Dog: 'Sense of Place'

Tucson chef says his dish inspired by icon of culinary landscape

The Sonoran hot dog has become ubiquitous in Tucson and is sold from food carts known as “dogueros” in just about every part of the city.

Janos Wilder, owner of Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, says the dish takes the quintessential American hot dog and transforms it into a unique culinary creation that melds flavors from both sides of the border.

“The Sonoran hot dog has a sense of place,” Wilder says.

Wilder’s restaurant is known for innovative dishes that tap into the rich borderland traditions of Southwest. He says his J-Dawg is inspired by the Sonoran hot dog craze that crossed into Tucson from Hermosillo nearly 20 years ago.

“I had never heard of them, but then we started seeing these little stands popping up all over the side of the road,” Wilder says.

Although the ingredients for his own version of the dish are “upscaled” for his restaurant and include chorizo black beans with a smoked poblano crema, Wilder says they represent the hybridization of the borderlands.

“All of those flavors really tell the story of where we live and who we are on the border,” he says.

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