By: Ann Marie Elpa
The Humble Burrito has taken the foodie world by storm since the early 1900s thanks in part to the rise of Mexican immigrants in the southwestern United States and the popularization of Tex-Mex cuisine. Having seen a surge of local and international Mexican food trucks and franchises, there is no question that a whole wheat tortilla blanket wrapped over a bed of succulent proteins, handpicked produce and freshly ground herbs and chillies could win the hearts of self-proclaimed gourmands.
However, our beloved burrito has undergone quite the evolution as it has spread across the globe. Many of these changes are quite experimental in nature, from fusions with popular Asian cuisines to bizarre combinations involving guilty junk food pleasures and childhood desserts. Many local Toronto eateries have hopped onto the current trend of Mexican fusion food, offering their spin on the modest classic.
Social media apps like Yelp and Instagram play a role in the popularization of such absurd food combinations, acting as business platforms for restaurants to advertise menu items and gain devoted followings. With an audience of “food enthusiasts” and a growing market for casual dining restaurants, it makes perfect sense why a city like Toronto would catch on to such trends. With that, here are a few odd burrito combinations that you’ve always wanted to try, and where exactly in the city you can do just that.
The California burrito is afood mashup trend made famous by a San Diego eatery. The California burrito consists of french fries, carne asada (thinly-sliced grilled beef), traditional pico de gallo (sliced onions, tomato, cilantro and jalepeño peppers), cheese, guacamole and sour cream. French fries have always been a junk food guilty pleasure for many, and adding them to a humble dish creates a buzzworthy and unique dining experience for customers. We can only hope that this food trend will make its way across the border.
The warm, filling goodness of a Vietnamese staple wrapped up in a wholesome burrito takes comfort food to a new level. Pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) is a Vietnamese noodle soup dish traditionally served with banh pho noodles, broth, herbs and a protein (most commonly beef or chicken). Pho burritos take the traditional pho recipe and turn it into a convenient and modern meal. Originating in California, pho burritos consist of a beef or chicken filling, rice noodles, lettuce, peppers, herbs and bean sprouts wrapped into a whole wheat tortilla.
Not only does the ramen burrito live up to its name as a cheap fix for college students, but also as a trending food combination between two popular, student-friendly meals. It may sound absurd to combine two items that are so high in sodium and carbohydrates, but the concoction of said foods creates a sort of umami flavour pleasant to the tastebuds. Ramen burritos consist of boiled ramen noodles topped with packaged seasonings, chopped chives, fried eggs and an optional protein, most often chicken or beef. Sriracha mayo is also usually available for adding a bit of spice to the burrito.
Treasured childhood memories of camping and bedtime stories come to mind when combining the classic burrito with a beloved childhood favourite. Melted milk chocolate, fluffy white marshmallows and crushed graham crackers in a flour tortilla create the perfect bedtime snack with a cup of hot cocoa. Adding a dash of cinnamon adds an extra touch of (unnecessary yet delicious) sweetness while triggering distant memories of home and campfires.
The ever-popular Japanese favourite combines forces with a Mexican classic to create a fusion food baby that sounds so wrong but tastes so right. Sushi burritos became a concept in 2011 when a local San Francisco restaurant decided to take the idea and present it to the public—since then, the sushi burrito has served its purpose as an affordable, convenient yet delicious way of consuming sushi. A few staple proteins include salmon, tuna, seasoned chicken and grilled tofu. Fresh avocado slices, julienned carrots, corn, cucumber, pickled onions and any other number of toppings are also added into the sushi burrito, with sauces like sriracha mayo and soy sauce used to bind everything together. The ingredients are then rolled into the traditional nori and sushi rice wrapper, ready for eager customers to enjoy.
This article was originally published on our old website at https://thenewspaper.ca/the-inside/five-burrito-fusion-trends-you-must-try/.