Gray Matter


A Burrito and a Chimichanga Is the Same Thing

RT Cunningham | July 24, 2020 (UTC) | Food and Drink


I often eat a burrito or two for breakfast, which is different from a burrito I would eat for lunch or dinner. Sometimes I’ll eat a burrito or two for dinner, heated up or fried as a chimichanga.

The ones for breakfast aren’t the same as the ones for dinner, obviously. We make breakfast burritos with tortillas and breakfast foods. Josie’s the only one on her side of the family in the Philippines who can cook them and make them taste right. Her sisters, all of them, can burn scrambled eggs. Heck, they can burn water.

The Burrito for Dinner

Josie won’t actually make burritos for dinner. If she’s going to go to all that trouble, we might as well have tacos or tostadas. She’s Filipino, not Mexican. We buy packages of burritos or chimichangas at a grocery store. The packages containing chimichangas and burritos from the same brand are exactly the same. Neither are deep-fried in advance.

When I’m at our house in Olongapo, Philippines, I don’t eat burritos for dinner very often. I’ve only found three brands at the Royal Subic store at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and I prefer the El Monterey brand. I like the steak and three cheeses variety and I try to stay away from burritos with beans in them.

When I’m in the United States, I eat burritos for dinner more often. I prefer either the El Monterey or José Olé brands, whichever with steak or beef and cheese. Anything but beef and beans.

I nuke them in the microwave oven most of the time. Sometimes, rarely, I’ll get someone to deep-fry them for me (real chimichangas). It almost always turns out to be Josie.

The Burrito for Breakfast

Josie spoils me. Her breakfast burritos will put the ones you can get at fast food places to shame. When she can’t cook for some reason, I can rely on José Olé breakfast burritos. Like the other burritos, they currently cost a dollar or less each at the local commissary. They can’t beat the taste of what Josie makes, but they’re far better than what we can get at any fast food place. Of course, fried breakfast burritos are out of the question.

The ingredients are almost any of the breakfast foods, but they always include scrambled eggs. If we have any, Josie will include lean bacon. Otherwise, it’ll be strips of ham slices or chunks of luncheon meat (SPAM or Treet). Again, if we have any, she’ll include hash browns. Otherwise, she’ll dice up some small potatoes.

She likes to use the large flour tortillas. Consequently, she makes long and thin breakfast burritos. I kid you not when I say I can eat more than two. Since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, I can eat enough to satisfy me for the entire day.

Josie fries the tortillas using either olive oil or palm oil, usually olive oil. She could do it with butter, but it probably wouldn’t make them taste better.

A Burrito on the Road

I’ve yet to see a restaurant, other than a fast food place, serve breakfast burritos. I’m sure I could find a place that serves the other kind, but I prefer eating something else when I eat out for dinner. Something neither I nor Josie can make at home.

The breakfast burrito from McDonald’s is an insult to breakfast burritos and a disappointment. I would have to order four or five just to satisfy my morning hunger. I don’t know what other fast food joints sell them and I prefer Sausage McMuffins when I end up at McDonald’s.

The Wikipedia Description

Their page describes it like this:

A burrito is a type of Mexican and Tex-Mex food, consisting of a large wheat flour tortilla with a filling, wrapped into a closed-ended cylinder, in contrast to a taco, where the tortilla is simply folded around the filling. The flour tortilla is sometimes lightly grilled or steamed to soften it, make it more pliable and allow it to adhere to itself when wrapped.

I honestly don’t think I could describe it any better than that. If you twist a soft taco into a burrito shape, it becomes a burrito. It’s as simple as that.

Photo Attribution: ALFONSO CHARLES from Pixabay
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in 2017.

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