Burritos: They're Not for Women

Categories: Gutbombs
Chipotle-Burrito.jpg
I don't remember where I had my first Chipotle burrito, and that's the point. I was too busy eating it. I do remember the careful ritual: peeling off rounds of foil, a quick visual examination followed by a dash of Tabasco. The first expectant bite, then another, then another. Setting the burrito down to chew and sip some water. Being hurried but unworried. Feasting like a predator.

The appeal, the process, is so terribly masculine. Don't get me wrong: I've sat alongside many lovely ladies in Chipotles across the country. I would have spoken to them if we hadn't each been in flagrante delicto with our own head-sized fresh-Mex fiestas. At bars and diners, you'll fall into idle chitchat with truck drivers and down-and-outers, boasting or complaining between sips. At the burrito restaurant, you eat. It's understood.

It is a simple act of provision, following the male instinct to pack as much utility as possible into a simple delivery method. the New Burrito isn't like a taco or an enchilada. It is something you hold in your hands, like a tool. This is a burrito you don't want covered in cheese or sauce on a plate, because to do so would be to confine it, to dress it up in fancy clothing and display it, to delay its use.

Women, of course, can eat and love burritos -- just as men should enjoy good haircuts or pumpkin-spiced lattes in sweater weather. But be honest with yourself. Evolutionarily speaking, a female who is presented with a warm, organic object of devotion -- in the approximate shape of a swaddled newborn -- is not going to be genetically predisposed to eat it.

For decades, fast-food face-stuffing has been criticized by a smaller movement of slow-food advocates, people like Alice Waters and Mark Bittman, who urge us to share a meal with our families, to lovingly craft our food from good ingredients and lay them out on a table, taking care in the presentation. We should stop, taste, sip, and savor.

This is great advice that everybody should follow. It's brought me a great deal of personal pleasure when I cook and share good food with friends. It's also a practice that would be entirely lost in a dystopian all-male society.

The promise of the New Burrito is that we can have it both ways. In those coy, approving glances at a partially eaten burrito, you see flecks of fresh tomato and crisp, green lettuce. You see a pocket of fresh guacamole or a mound of cheese promising savory fulfillment. It's designed for the modern man: sensitive to ingredients, aware of consequences. Responsible. But still damned hungry.

Chipotle wasn't the first to package the burrito as a hands-on, no-problemo fill-up food, but the company's appeal realigned our expectations. Mexican restaurants that used to specialize in more traditional fare began slinging extra-large flour tortillas, wrapping them in wax paper or foil, and dropping them into a bag. I've eaten burritos with charred and flattened tortillas and steamed, pliable ones. I've eaten brown rice and white rice and cilantro-lime rice. (I've also complained, on many occasions, about the Too Much Rice epidemic.) I've had grated cheese and melted cheese and queso, guacamole that's included or costs $1.65. I've had salsa thrown into yellow paper bags and spooned out my own at salsa bars. Options vary by city and attract customers based on routes home from work or weekend bicycle rides or word of mouth.

A lot of word of mouth. All this variety leads to many opinions, based on different personalities. Just as we argue politics or fantasy football picks, we feel a personal attachment to our chosen food delivery method. It is, after all, a vital and intimate relationship. Perhaps we know our burritos better than we know ourselves.

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14 comments
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there's gender roles for burrito eating? This is poor journalism

Distancedself
Distancedself

Goes to show that patriarchy is within the ranks of the new times editorial staff. Ignorance prevails again even within a food review. Vegan burritos rule!

Donna_loki
Donna_loki

Hahahahahahhaha yea women are totally less inclined to eat that burrito because it resembles a baby.  And if we are even going to take that ridiculous route, aren't men and women both 'genetically predisposed' to continue and protect their genes?  Oh and don't get me wrong, this article is just as sexist towards men, with the suggestion that cooking and sharing with friends is inherently more feminine since it would cease to exist in an all male society.  Men like tools.  Women like babies.  Another ridiculous article.

cystal bix
cystal bix

Burritos aren't for women? Is it because women need to have dainty salads? Or perhaps because this is a sexist statement implying women need to be frail or they are weaker therefore can't enjoy a larger sized meal? This is a ridiculous article especially from you, Stephen Kamph. This is almost as bad as the Food Not Bombs article that read like an Anarchist-activist version of Jersey Shore, which is crazy considering schooling is required to write b.s. articles like this one. Just goes to show academia is saturated with patriarchal brainwashing.      "Evolutionarily speaking, a female who is presented with a warm, organic object of devotion ....--"  wow. Thank you for that phallic symbolism. I don't think the first thing that ran through my mind was a baby, sounds like a Freudian slip on your part. Also sounds like you have plenty of experience taking burritos in your mouth. 

Misha Grosvenor
Misha Grosvenor

I eat burritos specifically because they look like newborn babies!  Great post Mr. Kamph!

♥cougarkissing.com♥
♥cougarkissing.com♥

 That's right.If we surf on the Internet such as social networks ,we should be careful to eat healthy food.

Pamela Holland
Pamela Holland

I love the Chipotle bowls....never eat the burritos though....too much starch.

True Fat Kid
True Fat Kid

The absolute BEST is the Caribbean Fire Bomb from The Fire Within food truck in WPB! Huge, full of meat, loaded with fresh flavor, and grilled to crispy perfection! If you haven't had one, you need to. Makes Chipotle seem like child's play.

Reed Fischer
Reed Fischer

I'm glad this important story is finally out there for the public to devour.

Eric Barton
Eric Barton

There's also something emasculating about the burrito bowl. As you sit over one, fork and maybe even knife daintily in hand, you'll find yourself watching some alpha male nearby nearly drowning himself in a handheld burrito.

ErinHilburn
ErinHilburn

Now I'm craving a burrito! But I'll take Zona Fresca over Chipotle any day :)

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