Bogus Burritos

I recently bought a burrito and was astounded to see that it was made in the fair city of Minneapolis, a surprise since I had always thought of Minneapolis as being a place so white that it’s nickname is ‘The Wonder Bread Capital of America’. Burritos are about as native to Minnesota as fish are to the moon. What comes next? Does my chop suey start getting shipped in from Tel Aviv?

burrito, sombreroHow is it that such a time honored food as a burrito is coming in from a land where white is not only the natural skin color but the normal food color as well? A brown skin in Minnesota is an indication of either someone owning a tanning salon or that they work in a tar producing plant. Let us not forget that Minnesota is the only state other than North Dakota having Norwegian as a second language requirement in the schools instead of Spanish.

Being a Wisconsiner by birth (once a Wisconsiner, always a Wisconsiner is how they say it) and being how Minnesota ways of doing things are not all that different as Wisconsin ways (we Midwesterners could split hairs over that statement, but we’ll let it pass) then I feel there are some points I can fairly freely make here. First off- spicy foods are alien to the Minnesota diet. In fact, the Mayo Clinic has a section specializing in intensive care for first time eaters of jalapenos. It is almost a state law that major meals be kept to meat, potatoes and a few select vegetables. If the raw materials therefore are not Midwest produced the cook thereof is subject to imprisonment. A famous Midwest motto is “if salt and pepper ain’t good enough for it, then it ain’t fit for the human mouth to eat.”

What sort of tortilla is this ‘Minnesota Burrito’ made from anyway? Leftse or potato pancakes filed down flat and round? And what sort of beans did they find to make them with? God forbid if they are- gaaaaaack!- soybeans! Pancho Villa would be rolling over in his grave at such a thing! And where did they find the red and green peppers for the them? Cayenne and chilies and all such foreign things are stopped at the Minnesota borders as surely as Columbian cocaine is.

Think about this- how would Minnesotans like it if Mexico were to start making cheap imports of prized Minnesota foods? Can you imagine Ludefisk made from Rio Grande carp? How about Leftse made from corn meal? Or better yet tons of corn on the cob shipped up by the truckload (Wait a minute- they are doing that already). Don’t forget- down south they don’t just have the old, boring yellow grain, they have black and red and blue and multicolored corn. If the kids back home ever got used to the taste of these exotic varieties they’d never go back to the old stuff.

So, my dear Minnesotans, please stick to that which you know best. Keep on doing your part to keep up that image of wholesome Middle America that you do so well with Lawrence Welk, polka dances, tidy suburbs and peacefully grazing cattle. There is no need to emulate a culture known for insanely spicy foods, exotic flamboyance and fantastically sexy women. It is OK to be a bit boring, soft spoken and given over to sedate activities such as ice fishing. That way the rest of us in other parts of the country can continue to run around drinking sinfully, chasing naked women, partying until we puke and making general fools out of ourselves peacefully knowing that somewhere, someone is making the sacrifices needed to keep up a good picture of what we as Americans should look like when we view ourselves in the mirror the morning after.

Roger Freed