In all my *coughs* years (er, yeah ok months [/rumbled]) of burrito research I’ve only ever eaten in. I’ve not yet put take out to the test. How will the foil keep the heat in? Will the tortilla manage to remain unsoggy? Will the flavours survive in transit? All these questions and many more needed to be answered.
On Monday morning I had a brief appointment in Fleet Street so I took the opportunity to head off to my Go To burrito supplier Chilango and decided to put them through some exacting test conditions.
I’d not been to this branch at lunch time and was expecting a queue of epic proportions but luckily it was not too busy and they’re pretty quick at getting their orders out so I didn’t have too long to wait. Two identical burritos were purchased and destined to be delivered to the LBRI research hub in south London. Would the burrito survive the journey over the river? And more importantly would the specialist courier (me, or more specifically me on a bus) have the will power to carry two burritos without being tempted to try just one mouthful?
Both burritos were pork, with black beans and cheese with an extra dollop of guacamole. Apologies to the vegan burrito brethren but I just can’t imagine any other way. I opted for the mild salsa as it’s the chunkier out of the three that Chilango have to offer and I felt that it was the fairest option to put to the burrito in transit test. There was a tense moment of sheer panic when the burrito creator forgot to put the pork onto one of the tortillas but disaster was thankfully averted when everybody pointed out her error. Phew.
I left clutching my yellow bag of utter temptation only to see the bus shooting past. Not only were these burritos going to have to catch a bus, they were going to have to wait for it. I have no shame in admitting that I was getting increasingly anxious about what this delay would mean and I’m not just talking about the noises coming from my belly. This extra journey time meant that the burritos would have to endure a longer time in transit and this opened them up to the terrifying possibility of going cold or soggy.
In addition I was concerned about the strength of the bag and the risk of leakage – if the burritoes leaked then the bag would be destoyed and thus my lunch would end up all over the place.
A further, and very valid, concern was that the smells emanating from my little yellow bag of joy would create intense envy and/or violence. I was worried about being burrito mugged.
I won’t bore you with the details of the journey but suffice to say the bus came, me and my burrito luggage got on and survived the trip without anybody stealing the precious cargo and (more surprisingly) without me opening one of them up and starting early.
Dr Chimpington was at the lab and kindly took one of the samples from me so he was able to examine it. Both burritos underwent rigourous testing.
First: The foil was unfurled. I unwrapped the top and folded it slightly thus leaving the bottom 2/3s still encased. Dr Chimpington took off all the foil leaving his burrito naked and vulnerable. Both burritos still felt warm. This was good news. Magic foil!
Next: The sniff test. This was very brief as we were both rather hungry.
Finally: The first bite. I think the scientific term for what we experienced is ‘Yum’. Or ‘Yummy’ if you want to express it in Latin. Flavours were retained and still delicious. You could pick out individual flavours such as coriandar.
Conclusion: The burritos were not quite as warm as they would have been if we had eaten in, however they survived a journey which (if you include waiting at a bus stop) of nigh on half an hour so are forgiven for not being piping hot. The taste was still great and we were both suitably stuffed for the rest of the day which, as they say somewhere, is definitely a result. And as I would say a pleasing one.