Culture Opinion The Katchup

Burritos Are The Defining Food Item Of Modern Californian Cuisine

In a recent episode of Foodbeast’s podcast, The Katchup, fellow writer Evan Lancaster posed an intriguing question about the latest trend of seemingly every cuisine being put into burrito form:

“I mean, is this just a California thing? I don’t think we see that anywhere else.”

While we do see this burrito trend everywhere, its roots are definitely embedded in California. In fact, if there is one singular food item that could define all of Californian cuisine, it would definitely be the burrito and everything that Californians have done to it to fortify its stance in today’s cuisine.

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Truth be told, the Golden State was one of the first states to introduce burritos to the American people. Nowadays, California has taken that Mexican staple and revolutionized it. It’s no longer just an on-the-go meal found in Mexican restaurants. Everything from sushi to mac and cheese and even Indian food can be found inside of burritos all across California.

This movement began as a testament to the diverse cultures that live in the state. With burritos and Mexican cuisine being one of the core staples of Californian culture, it makes sense that the state’s melting pot of different people began communicating their own cultures through the wrap. The rapid, on-the-go lifestyle of the modern world also gives the burrito a massive market, as it offers convenience and portability for whatever you want to fill it with.

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Evidenced by the resourcefulness of today’s diverse culinary minds, restaurants are crafty with the wrap of choice they use to construct their burritos, which allows them to retain cultural elements both inside and outside of the burrito. Sushi burritos, for example, are typically wrapped in rice paper or seaweed, and Panda Express uses a scallion pancake to wrap up their orange chicken burritos. Think of it as a way to retain cultural identity and keep the concept of the burrito truer to whichever culture has been represented in this vessel.

Sure, it wouldn’t be considered traditional for a restaurant to stuff chicken tikka masala into a burrito, or for Panda Express to take orange chicken and turn it into wrap form. But in California, it’s acceptable because of our openness to fusion cuisine. Roy Choi and his Korean BBQ tacos are a prime example of how we’re willing to take food from one cuisine and mash it up with another. With California having the largest minority population of any state in the US, it’s hard to find the quantity or diversity of fusion restaurants that California has to offer anywhere else in the country.

That’s what makes the burrito, no matter what you stuff into it, a true Californian classic. From the Mexican roots and vibrant Mexican culture here, to the acceptance of fusion, broad ethnic diversity, and on-the-go lifestyle, the burrito was definitely made for the modern Golden State.

I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate everything that’s Californian than to put it in burrito form.


This Baseball Player Said He Thinks Mexican Food Is Better On The East Coast

The San Diego Padres had the privilege of hosting the 2016 MLB All-Star game at Petco Park, and the festivities kicked off  Monday, with everyone in high spirits for the Home Run Derby.

In the middle of the derby, San Diego Padre’s first baseman, Wil Myers, saw this as the perfect opportunity to talk about how much better he thinks Mexican food is on the East Coast — compared to the West Coast.


Wil is from North Carolina, which is pretty far from Mexico, but just to tear apart his argument, in an interview with Union Tribune, he said he, “liked chipotle.”

Good for you, Wil. At least someone does. But, we have to draw the line. You sound crazy.

After seeing him beat around the bush when Yahoo Sports asked him to describe why East Coast Mexican food was “better,” it was clear he had no idea what he’s talking about and it was just what he “prefers.”

Perhaps he just “prefers” to spell his first name with one L instead of two. Seems pretty normal.

Of course, Twitter lost it’s mind over Wil’s comments:

Seriously, what is Wil thinking? Did he really think he could get away with saying the East Coast has better Mexican food than the West Coast — in Southern California? Even local Mexican restaurants were trolling Wil.

Wil, however, tried to defend himself after the flood of trolls probably drenched him in embarrassment — or confusion. He addressed his comments via Twitter, but still, it seems like he has no idea what he’s talking about. This might have made things worse. 

WillMyersBurritosNext time, just talk about baseball, Wil. Maybe that’s the reason your own brother threw a ball directly at you during the Home Run Derby. 

Wil did not come close to winning the Home Run Drby and finished the night with only 10 home runs — maybe eating all those California burritos slowed your swing down. 

Oh, yeah; Go Dodgers!