The amazing Mission burrito.
Some of my fondest memories as a young man were being able to visit relatives like my uncle Phil and my Grandma and Grandpa.
I remember spending the night at my grandma's house in my college days and being woken up by the smell of amazing flour tortillas made by her.
The History Of Flour Tortillas:
The website mayanmexican.com has a great and quick overview of the history of the tortilla. It comes from the Spanish word “tort” which means cake, with “tortilla” meaning little cake.
According to the website, Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés wrote a letter to the Spanish King Charles V in 1520 telling about the food including what would be known as tortillas.
When Spain came to Central America in the 1500s, they also brought over wheat flour, and they started making tortillas out of it. Even today though, flour tortillas are rare in Mexico and mainly seen in the Northern parts.
The Mission burrito was invented in San Francisco in the Mission District which has a large Hispanic population. There is a fierce debate from restaurants in the Mission as to who invented it.
What makes it so popular is that restaurants take extreme pride in the freshness of the ingredients. No jars or microwaves here. It’s also very tasty, huge & filling, and portable. And the affordability and you have the perfect food item. It’s always a staple to the business lunch crowd. And don’t forget the optional complimentary chips and fresh salsa which most restaurants serve.
The website theculturetrip.com has an excellent description of it.
“The burrito begins with an extra large, flour tortilla, usually press-steamed to increase flexibility and minimize the chance of breakage. This is filled with a customer’s choice of rice, beans (black beans upon request), salsas, and meats including grilled skirt steak, grilled chicken, or pork. On top of these standard ingredients, customers can order a ‘super’ to include cheese, sour cream, avocado or guacamole, and sometimes shredded lettuce. Once this monstrous tortilla is filled to the brim and rolled into a tight cylinder”. Some restaurants to cater to tourists and out-of-towners use the term super burrito instead of Mission,
Mission Burrito Recipe:
Longtime Associate Professor at the Culinary Institute of America Chef Eric L. Schawaroch talks about his amazing experience as a New York chef eating his first Mission Burrito in San Francisco. Here is the link to share all of his recipes for making your authentic one. The link will show you how to make rice, beans, pico de gallo, and guacamole too! Store products can be used instead of making them yourself.
Mission District Burrito
Yield: 4 burritos
1 pound skirt steak, cooked
1/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
2 cups rice and beans (see recipe link)
1/4 cup guacamole (see recipe link)
1/4 cup pico de gallo (see recipe link)
1-ounce sour cream
1/4 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
4 flour tortillas (12-inch)
Grill or sauté steak to the desired doneness. Let rest for 5 minutes and then chop into small dice.
Place the flour tortilla in the steamer to soften it and make it pliable. If a steamer is not available place it in the microwave wrapped in a damp dish cloth for 15-30 seconds until soft and pliable.
Fill the center of each tortilla with diced meat and shredded cheese, rice and beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and shredded lettuce.
Fold in sides and roll tightly into a cylinder shape like a wrap sandwich. The moist tortilla will stick to itself and seal. It is ready to enjoy.
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