Why I Love Burritos
Food is the gateway through which you can understand another culture. It is not cultural appropriation, it is cultural empathy. It is how we put ourselves in others position and understand better their trials and talents. I first ate a burrito from the Dublin outfit Burritos and Blues probably about ten years ago. I liked it but I wasn't totally sold. Then when I went to visit my great friends in Chicago, my friend Chris took me to Chipotle and it blew me away. How could something be so damn delicious? Whenever I eat a burrito today, it takes me back to that time and I feel contented.
My favourite burrito restaurant is the Little Ass Burrito Bar on Dawson St, just across from Trinity College in Dublin. It's good value at 7.40 for a Sancho Panza burrito, which is delicious pork. Guacamole is extra but I always get it. A coke to go along with the delicious wrapped thing and I am one happy Muggins. It is filling but not too filling. Another favourite is Boojum, on Kevin Street, just off Camden Street's Against The Grain, one of Dublin's very best pubs. They do a really delicious burrito and I highly recommend dropping in and giving them a try.
As well as the positives, I have to mention some of the negatives. Do NOT try out Tolteca off Grafton Street. It is the moldiest, most unsatisfying and borderline disgusting burrito you can have in Dublin. I never thought that anyone could ruin a burrito but they did. And it was expensive too for what you got. When you went to get your burrito, you could tell they didn't give a shit. There was no passion or joy about what they were doing. So please AVOID Tolteca.
I remember going to the Afghan Grill and thinking that the culture of Afghanistan must be something special to make something so tasty. It torpedoed my prejudices and gave me a clearer picture of the true beauty to be found in that country. You can say the same for what burritos have done in my mind for the culture of Mexico. I really want to go there, even if it is just an eating tour. I know there is a lot of crime and other social problems but boy do they know how to do food well!
Burritos are in many ways a comfort food. I still can't wrap them properly but I do love making and eating them. I use prime mince from the Scarlet Heifer in Ballyogan and the Old El Paso Burrito Kit. I add rice, kidney beans or black eyed beans and lots and lots of guacamole. I wrap it in tin foil and I'm good to go. I love to have a Corona with a lime in it, alongside the meal. And of course a big bottle of Coke, AKA'd as the greatest beverage on the face of the Earth.
Please don't think that just because I like eating Mexican food that I am appropriating another culture. I'm not. To appreciate another culture is not to steal from it. We can only grow and learn if we understand what another culture has to teach us. So enjoy your burrito or taco or pizza and don't feel guilty. We all come from the same place, ultimately and we shouldn't let artificial boundaries stop us from loving and helping each other. Burritos are the king of food. EAT THEM OKAY.