In the latest edition of his Sporkful podcast, Dan Pashman sat down with Slate economics blogger and noted Chipotle enthusiast Matt Yglesias to talk burritos. As a California native and certified tortilla enthusiast, I listened to the whole podcast and inserted my highly subjective, totally correct commentary on the two bloggers’ thoughts on American Mexican food’s crowning achievement. Here are all 28 minutes of podcast, summarized and annotated for your convenience:
0:00 Weird Al Yankovic says you should wet a tortilla in the sink before heating it up, does not appear to be joking.
5:30 Chipotle is like Apple because high-tech carnitas! Also, it’s really well-designed and influential. See: Cantina Bowls.
6:30 Yglesias likes his Chipotle burritos very, very minimalist. He goes for brown rice (UM, NO), chicken or carnitas, black beans (AGREED), hot salsa, and possibly cheese. Seriously, Matt—no pico de gallo? No corn? NO GUACAMOLE?!?!
9:06 Yglesias calls the Bay Area the “traditional center of the burrito industry.” As a native of Southern California, I am HIGHLY offended, but admit that I’m biased.
9:50 Refers to no rice in a burrito as an “issue.” I take issue with this.
10:45 Chipotle, being a giant, soulless corporation, is really good at logistics. For example: pPatrons are herded, cattle-like, straight into a line with a view of the menu.
11:20 Chipotle is not infallible, though. Bay Area (and most other non-Chipotle) burrito joints mix up their fillings, whereas at Chipotle one runs the risk of eating a mouthful of pure sour cream. CORRECT.
11:55 Yglesias confirms his pro-rice stance. He cites structural integrity, yet structural integrity sans rice-crutch is the hallmark of a great burrito. That’s why wrapping method is so important!
12:40 YGLESIAS IS A SELF-DESCRIBED “LETTUCE FAN.” THIS IS UNFORGIVABLE. Lettuce is a disgusting, flavorless crime against Mexican food, and it needs to GTFO of anything with a tortilla.
13:30 Pashman suggests tortilla chips in a burrito. This is mildly blasphemous but infinitely preferable to lettuce. *shudders*
16:50 Labor-intensive Chipotle lifehack, courtesy of Mrs. Yglesias: Hand-mix filling with a utensil while eating. Handy solution to the Sour Cream Conundrum.
19:16 “Salsa is great.” Also, water is wet.
19:40 Yglesias endorses a more flavorful salsa to essentially do pico de gallo’s job without the added moisture. I would contend that liquid salsa and pico de gallo serve two very different purposes and a mushy pico de gallo is a bad pico de gallo, but whatever.
19:56 Pushman disses cold salsa, saying he doesn’t like the “temperature contrast.” But that’s the best part!
20:05 Pushman redeems himself by endorsing the melt-cheese-onto-the-tortilla method over the sprinkle-cheese-onto-the-fillings method.
20:45 Yglesias tentatively suggests the Qdoba queso-sauce method; Pushman immediately shuts him down. Pushman is on a roll.
21:38 “If you like melted cheese so much, why not go for the queso?” Yglesias does not Get It.
22:20 “Should both ends of a burrito be capped?” HOW IS THIS EVEN A QUESTION?!
23:00 Yglesias is mounting a full-scale defense of the capped burrito end. I am silently cheering him on at my desk.
24:38 Pushman outlines two strategies for finishing the last two inches of burrito: top-down or side-to-side. Yglesias endorses the latter, meaning he’s now on a roll.
25:30 Pushman proposes a rectangular tortilla, does not appear to be joking.