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The sumptuous delights of the Tigers' Flint-style Coney Dog

Culture expresses itself through food. Its values, beliefs and agricultural history are all tied to the meals that are made and the recipes that are handed down.

If that's the case, then it's time for everyone to pack up and move to Michigan: home of the Flint-style Coney Dog. 

Flint Style coney sign

Phil Lopez and Bernice Baldwin, the purveyors of this fine dog when I showed up on Tuesday, told me how they make their magic: 

They start with a center cut steamed bun, a Koegel's hot dog and Abbot's meat sauce. I called it a chili, but was firmly told that it was a sauce made with beef hearts and a mixture of spices. You then load it up with onions and an option to add mustard. 

Flint coney view

Now, I've had a lot of hot dogs in my life. I consider myself a bit of a hot dog agnostic -- I think the sausages are a fine food, full of salty, meaty goodness -- but I think they're a high floor, low ceiling option. 

That was all before I had this Coney. The steamed bun was soft and warm, reminding me of being cuddled by my mother as a newborn babe.  

The hot dog was smoky and delicious with a sharp snap.

And the meat sauce, not chili, was an epiphany. Piled high with delicate care by Mr. Lopez, this was a bounty -- nay a kaleidoscope of flavors. This hot dog was so good, I forgot to get a picture of it before I started eating. I regret nothing.

Hot dog

Were an invading race of aliens to come to planet Earth, threatening us with annihilation lest we feed them something perfect, this is the food that I would serve them. Because the Flint-style Coney is a shining testament to the culinary skill of the human race.