Californians enjoy touting their “authentic” Mexican food and complaining about New York’s absence of a good burrito. Being a native San Diegan, I did my fair share of complaining when I first migrated to NYC for college. I missed my Tijuana-style tacos and freshly-griddled tortillas. Rice in a burrito? Obscene. A burrito wrapped in aluminum foil? Blasphemy.
Quickly I realized that what I missed was Californian Mexican food, not authentic Mexican food. I missed the California burrito, a uniquely San Diegan creation made of French fries, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, a fresh flour tortilla, carne asada, no rice – all wrapped in paper instead of tin foil, so the burrito wouldn’t gain any unappetizing moistness.