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Hot dog!

By J.M. Hirsch

Associated Press

It’s Opening Day around Major League Baseball ballparks this week and next. And it’s possible to get a taste for baseball even without attending a game.

And it’s easy to accommodate an appetite for just about any team. That’s because most ballparks have signature hot dogs inspired by regional foods that are favorites of fans.

This is a long way from ketchup, mustard and relish. These hot dogs are seriously endowed, sporting many — and by some tastes many unusual — toppings, including sauerkraut, diced tomatoes, chili and coleslaw.

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To get you started, here are adaptations of the hot dogs served at the home ballparks of five Major League teams — the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, New York Mets and Houston Astros.

• Atlanta Braves: For a taste of the Georgia Dog that Braves fans enjoy at Turner Field, try a hot dog topped with coleslaw, chili and Vidalia onion relish. If you can’t find onion relish, try mixing a bit of diced raw onion with pickle relish.

• Chicago Cubs: Talk about serious hot dog toppings. Cubs fans enjoy boiled beef dogs piled with diced onions, diced tomatoes, banana peppers, mustard, a dash of celery salt and a dill pickle spear on a poppy seed bun.

• Colorado Rockies: Rockies fans at Coors Field like their dogs — called the Rockie Dog — big. Top a grilled extra-long (the real deal measures a foot) hot dog with sauerkraut and grilled onions and peppers.

• New York Mets: At Shea Stadium, Mets fans ate some 26,000 hot dogs on opening day last year. To make your own New York Dog, try a hot dog topped with sauerkraut, diced onions and deli-style mustard.

• Houston Astros: The Texas Dog at Minute Maid Park brings a bit of heat to the mix. Top these dogs with chili, cheese and jalapeno peppers.

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