Friends Of Australia Friday Yee HAW! Australian Burritos w/ Chard and Barramundi Shiraz!

It’s once again an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!

The Tucker

I think I’ve got a handle on this Australian Mex thing! I put 2 medium purple onions, diced, in the cast iron skillet with some prior lamb fat. Sauteed while I minced 2 cloves of garlic and set them aside. The Australian lamb mince (burger) was divided into walnut sized bits when the onions were about 3/4 done, just starting to brown, and added to the skillet.

As that got a bit browned, cooked up, I sprinkled over it a modest sprinkle of salt, about 3 grinds of pepper. And added the garlic along with a MODEST dusting of comino / cumin. You need to keep the spices light to taste the lamb flavor.

Some stirring and flipping later, it was cooked through and put on ‘warm’.

Chard leaves were placed in a steamer basket and steamed to done. When done, they were placed on the plate with a nice pat of Real Butter and a little salt.

A tortilla was warmed, piled with the cooked lamb mixture, and a generous helping of Mexican Cheese Blend shreds added. That’s IT. Rolled into a burrito and onto the plate.

Yeah, very much a “White Guy” burrito. No peppers. No salsa. No refritos. (Refried beans). But it lets you taste the nummy lamby flavor. Spouse doesn’t like hotness, so you may need to “hot it up” to your preferences, as I do.

Wine – Barramundi 2017 Shiraz

I was expecting a disappointment of sorts as I was not too fond of one of their other wines, but this one was nice.

Mild as Shiraz goes. First taste was a bit of “Where’s the kick in the teeth?”, then I just settled in and enjoyed a nice flavored deep red wine. Not as strongly flavored as other Shiraz, but that can be a feature.

Sad to say, the entire bottle is gone now. Down the gullet it is. So clearly “drinkable”….

If you want a “Knock Your Socks Off!” Shiraz experience, this is not the wine for you. But if you want a very drinkable wine with an interesting flavor that is different from the usual, well “Drink up me hearties Yo Ho!”

I’ll be buying more of this one.

In Other News

I’ve got nothing right now. Been busy learning everything needed to make a Sonicwall firewall “go”. Y’all will need to provide the news updates on this one.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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34 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday Yee HAW! Australian Burritos w/ Chard and Barramundi Shiraz!

  1. H.R. says:

    Hmmmm…cumin with lamb. That definitely would work. And the onion and garlic. Definitely has that YUM factor.

    Some sweet paprika might have tilted your mix a little more to the Mexican side, E.M. OR, some sweet red bell pepper.

    I’ve never done lamb burger before, but I ran across some this past week. I also have some ground sweet Italian sausage and was thinking of mixing it all 1:1 and cooking it over a wood fire.

    Decisions, decisions….

  2. beththeserf says:

    Gonna git me some of that Shiraz to quaff with lamb cutlets tonite! It’s FRIDAY. )

  3. philjourdan says:

    Too many “american” burritos around. Yours is not really one, just a lamb taco (if you had kept it open). Not crazy about all those burritos they got for breakfast food or lunch on the run. I like mine with beans (rice optional) and some spice. But that is just me.

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    Tacos have a hard shell (calling it a “soft taco” is a cop out). Burritos are rolled, and this was.

    I add hotsauce to mine, spouse chooses otherwise so I cook to her tastes and adjust to mine. I also add come cilantro to mine, so yeah, it’s a burrito.

    I often make a “bean and cheese” burrito. Hardly “American” as I’m using refritos in it…

  5. YMMV says:

    ‘Australia is within range of China’s conventional warhead-equipped DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile.’ — message in the Communist Party mouthpiece, the Global Times

  6. philjourdan says:

    @EMS – go down to Mexico and stop in a Cantina. Ask for Tacos. Better chance than not you will get a soft shell with meat. And a plate with radish, cabbage, onions and cilantro (for garnish for the tacos) and salsa.

    But tacos are not rolled. If you roll a taco, it becomes a flauta. But then neither are burritos. Burritos are folded and tucked, not rolled.

  7. E.M.Smith says:


    I’d not be particularly inclined to ask Mexico what is a Burrito as it is more Tex-Mex than real Mexican. Below the northern border States, it is not common.

    As per “rolled”:

    An entry in the Diccionario de Mexicanismos says that a food item called a burrito, consisting of a rolled tortilla filled with meat and other ingredients, was popular in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. The same food was eaten in areas like Yucatan and Mexico City, where it was known as a cocito and taco, respectively.

    Then note that like all languages of wide use, the same word means different things in different places. As I’m a Californio, I’m sticking with Californio usage.

    Why? Because the Mexican “cocito” and what in Mexico City is called a taco is just not the same thing as what we here in California call a burrito. It is much smaller, for one thing:

    Those burritos were much smaller
    than the giant tortilla packed tightly with meat, beans, cheese, rice, and sour cream served by Taco Bell, Chipotle, and other American restaurant chains today. The American style burrito popped up in the 1930s. A restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco called El Faro reportedly whipped up a batch of double-size burritos for a group of firefighters, only for operator Febronio Ontiveros to realize that most everyone would and could enjoy a giant burrito filled to the breaking point.

    Our Burrito is a purely American creation based off of a Tex-Mex starting point:

    Burritos are one of the most popular Tex-Mex items on the menu.
    The burrito made its way into the US in the 1900s. The first mention of a burrito on a U.S. menu was in the 1930s at the El Cholo Spanish Café in Los Angeles, though burritos had likely been making the rounds in the states before then. California is still well-known for its burritos, with the Mission burrito—arguably the most popular style of burrito in the United States—originating in San Francisco. The Mission burrito is wrapped up in a tortilla and then again in aluminum foil—this is the sort that is commonly served at restaurants like Chipotle, Qdoba, and Freebirds.

    Once the US got hold of it, the burrito started to cross cultural boundaries. Now there are burritos made with Thai chicken or Chinese pork. Then there’s the breakfast burrito, a tortilla stuffed with eggs, potato, and bacon. The breakfast burrito fad, which started catching on around 1975, found its way into mainstream fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Sonic, and Hardee’s by the 1990s. And the rest, as they say, is history.
    You might be surprised to learn that burritos, which most Americans associate with Mexico, aren’t widely consumed there. These days, burritos are much more popular in the U.S. and the northern part of Mexico than they are in Mexico as a whole.
    The Mission Burrito became popular in the 1960s. Their large size and extra ingredients made them appealing to the American public. The dish is featured in hundreds of taquerias in the San Francisco area, and their success inspired other restaurants to take the burrito to the national level.

    Tacos started appearing in the US in the early 1900s as well. In San Antonio, a group of women called the Chili Queens sold tacos out of carts. Initially, they had a moderate amount of business, but the railroad started bringing in more and more tourists to the area who loved trying out Mexican food. Tacos became part of the “Tex-Mex” diet with the establishment of Taco Bell, which made tacos a quick, easily accessible meal.

    Similarly, the use of Mexican Spanish to describe an American food, the hard shell taco, will be about as useful as ordering a Pizza in Italy. (The Pizza as you know it is also American, though based out of a much more thinly topped Italian flat bread dish – focaccia IIRC. There is an Italian pizza that looks similar, but the sauce is fresh and the toppings quite different. The quantity has grown over the years, but still is not nearly like a Chicago Deep Dish or other fully loaded American Pizzas:
    Not a lot of Americans would consider some tomato paste and basil as a fully topped pizza…)

    The hard-shell or crispy taco is a Mexican dish that developed in the United States. The earliest references to hard-shell tacos are from the early 1890s, and by the early 20th century this style of taco was available in Mexican-American communities across the US. Fast food chains began to market hard-shell tacos to Americans in the mid-1950s, with Taco Bell playing a significant role in popularizing the food.

    So when speaking American, a burrito is a rolled soft tortilla filled with “stuff” of many kinds. Not seen very often in Mexico, and other than the northern border States, mostly for tourists. Similarly “taco” is a “hard-sell taco” of American Tex-Mex origin.

    When speaking Mexican Spanish, a burrito is a very small rolled dish of almost snack sized (to an American…) and mostly seen in only a few States. A “taco” is rarely anything fried, and is most likely a soft unfolded or at most partly folded tortilla with “stuff” piled on it.

    So to know what the word means, first you must choose your language. Unless the surrounding text is Spanish, I’m not speaking Spanish…

  8. H.R. says:

    @E.M. re Tex-Mex food: I’ve mentioned before that my mom’s side settled in Texas in 1854 and “went forth, were fruitful, and multiplied.” I’m related to a measurable percentage of Texans. (All the forebears seemed to think 10 to 12 kids was the ideal number.)

    In the Summer of 1966, it was my “turn” to go spend the Summer in Texas with my grandparents and visit with all my Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.

    One of my aunts picked me up in Houston to take me w-a-a-a-y South in Texas (you have to travel North a ways to hear a Southern accent 😜). On the way to the grandparents, she stopped for lunch at a “Mexican” restaurant. It said ‘Mexican’ but was purely, purely Tex-Mex.

    Anyhow, she knew what she wanted, but I had no clue what to get. They had some sort of sampler plate that she steered me to and it was all wonderful!

    It was quite spicy, as Tex-Mex is, compared to true, South-of-the-border Mexican. That’s more savory, fresh-tasting cuisine with the Mexican twist being oh… poblano or mole sauces, for example. Or it’s based on rice, corn, and beans with ‘maize’ flour being a staple (think, tortillas, or enchiladas). The peppers are most often roasted and dried so they are warm-tasting and smooth as opposed to hot. ‘Hot’ is for those crazy Texans.
    My love of very hot sauces and food came from my father and that first whole Summer I got to stay in Texas (I got a few other turns).

    My dad was Army Air Corps (no Air Force then) stationed at Randolph Field in Texas. (I can’t recall what the new name is for that AF base.) Anyhow, he liked to walk about and explore the surroundings and he was particularly fond of the street vendors’ food carts. His favorite was tamales; loved the soft maize in the corn husk and the tamale sauce. I forget exactly, but they were something like 5¢ each, maybe 3 or for for 25¢. I just can’t recall what he told me, but it was dirt cheap and he was on a Corporal’s salary.

    As a pre-school kid, I grew up with my dad having a bottle of Tabasco sauce handy and my mom made some home-made vinegar-super hot sauces. A drop or two would incapacitate most people. He also had to have a jar of Derby beef tamales now and then, the only tamales he could get in the Mid-west. better’n nothing, I suppose.

    That acquired taste of his was very, very odd in the ’50s in the Eastern Mid-west. Church socials were mac’n cheese, fried chicken, gloppy Jello concoctions, green beans almandine (green beans Campbells cream of mushroom soup, & sliced toasted almonds). There was nothing spicier than ground black pepper, and quite a few couldn’t handle that!
    Fast forward to when I was in my late teens and early twenties and boy-oh-boy! was I ever surprised to find out what real Mexican cuisine was like. It was nothing like Tex-Mex. Very fresh, the underlying flavor profile was much the same, but Tex-Mex was far zippier.

    Then I moved to California, where I misspent my youth, and I found there was a whole ‘nother twist on Mexican food, much as you described above.

    And then there’s South and Central American cuisine, which shares much with Mexican cuisine, but has it’s own reginal twist to flavors.
    All this babbling is just to support your (E.M.) bottom line above: some of the terms we consider as ‘Mexican food’ in the U.S. are really quite fluid as to their composition and depend on where you happen to be to know what exactly what you’re about to see on your plate.

    Love my scorchin’ hot sauces. Thanks, Dad!.

  9. E.M.Smith says:


    Oh NO! Horrors! OMG!!!! We might be related…

    By marriage anyway…

    Spouses family comes from just over the border in Oklahoma down to about Tyler Texas. Quasi spread over the whole area. I’ve been made an “Honorary Texan” via said marriage (and a significant quantity of beer and hot sauce, enough to earn my acceptance anyway 8-)

    I’ve had Very Authentic Californio Mexican, I’ve had “just over the border” Mexican (via my Mexican Best Friend growing up and “Mama Celerina” who was definitely a Native Mexican cook). Story was that his Papa rode with Pancho Villa and just hopped over the border when it was clear things were not going to go well (bringing his 30 year younger bride with him…) I have zero reason to doubt that. He was an impressive man with a great mustachio and an attitude that made you feel like a “prey item” when you did ANYTHING wrong. You just did not ignore anything he said, and he didn’t say much. But when he said anything, you just froze and hoped it wasn’t about you.

    IIRC he was in his 70s in about 1960, so age worked out correct. Then the “Tex Mex” food preferences places him as from the right “del Norte” region.

    So Mama Celerina (and eldest daughter Margarita) did most of the cooking. I was welcome in the kitchen (they were, I think, a bit surprised that this white guy kid knew how to cook… but given the restaurant that gave me creds…). I learned to make tamales, sopa, refritos, the whole works. Celebrations were very different foods from the day-to-day, but I was in the kitchen learning. Sadly, I’ve likely forgotten most of the finer points. Most of it was “dumper” and not a lot of measuring. But at one point I could roll a tortilla, now not so much. Gordito maybe… (No presses for them, just a pin, a table, and some flour…)

    She grew her own chilies, and there was always Salsa Verde on the table. It was HOT! I’ve told the story before, so the short form: 2 “cousins” showed up and did not know I spoke Spanish and was “acclimated” to the Salsa Verde. They “plotted” to get the gringo, so put a whole 1/4 tsp of Salsa Verde on their (crisp fried hard) taco. This, btw, is part of why I hold “taco” to be a fried crisp taco. That is how a 100% authentic Mexican family taught me to make them. Yeah, Tex-Mex style, but from the Mex side of the border. Anyway, I knew what they were doing, and decided to play them back. Deer In Headlights I said “The Green Stuff? I put that here? (point at taco)” Then proceeded to put 1/4 tsp on the spoon (they grinned a bit anticipating the ‘win’) “No, that just can’t be enough” said I; dipping up 1/2 tsp (the grin became a mix of big grin and worried I might have problems). I decided to sink the win then. Remember, I know the potency of this stuff… “Oh what the heck, all or nothing, right?” and dipped up a whole tsp and spread it lovingly over my taco and began to eat it.

    Now when I have hot sauce, I sweat from the top of my head to the jaw line, where it exactly stops. No idea why. So I’ve got sweat starting to roll off me in rivulets, across the table is a look of “OH MY GOD Have we killed the Gringo friend of our host family?” as I watched the incipient worry / horror on their faces I continued to eat. By that time I could not feel my tongue anyway and pain was a distant memory. I knew that tomorrow would be “FIRE IN THE HOLE!” but down went the entire taco. About 3/4 through it, I looked each “cousin” in the eye with a bit of a grin on my face; the “cousins” realized I’d played them, and that I was willing to “drink the fire” to “win”. I was completely accepted after that. Though I regret that I could not taste any other food for the rest of the meal…

    FWIW, down the street is a Salvadorian Restaurant. We’ve eaten there a few times. Once you start touring Central and South American cuisine, you realize how mild it is. Like middle / southern Mexican. It just does not have the OMG Hot aspect. More like European / Spanish. Cuban is nice too, with more fish (and also a lot less spice). Caribbean is very spotty on spices. Jamaican is very nice (2 week there 50 years ago and I still want to go back…). But nothing is quite like Tex-Mex in the “light me up” department. Only thing close was some Cajun Crawdads I had just over the border in Louisiana. That was “close to pain” hot. Finished the plate, but…

    In any case, the terminology for what a particular physical food item might be changes a lot from language to language for what is nominally the same thing; then from region to region for what is physically the same thing but spiced entirely differently.

    I strongly encourage folks to try different Hispanic Country Cuisines. IF you are afraid of too much hotness, just avoid the North Mexico / South Texas “Tex-Mex” and the Cajun. It seems to smoothly grade out to ever more mild the further you are from that spot, physically. Cubano fish is mildly spiced. Puerto Rican chicken is to die for with rich flavor but not too hot (hot available on request). El Salvadorian is completely different and nice (your choice of hotness). On it goes.

    But do look at pictures. The same word can be a very different thing 100 miles over the border to the next county or country.

  10. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – Your story of the 2 cousins reminded me of the Mexican eating style. The food was not spicy. You added the heat to taste.

    I worked in a factory when I lived in California. I needed a job and my neighbor said they were hiring where he worked. He was an expediter and scheduler. That’s where I fell in love with manufacturing and started my career in manufacturing, then got an engineering degree and stayed with it until I retired.

    At lunch, the Mexicans would get something off the truck. All the ‘Roach Coaches’ had a jar of pickled whole jalapeno peppers. The Mexicans would take one to go with their food item. The heat was always on the side, not in the food.

    I picked up the habit, since I liked some heat from my upbringing, but when I moved back East there wasn’t a jar of pickled jalapenos to be found anywhere. The only heat you could buy was a bottle of Tabasco sauce. Taco Bell was all there was for Mexican restaurants. It was years before Mexican food started appearing on grocery shelves and real Mexican restaurants started sprouting up.
    Funny story – At the factory where I worked, after being there about a year, I came to work one morning and there were a couple of black cars at the entry gate; Immigration (los Migres!) I was always early getting to work, went in to a fairly empty factory and thought nothing of it. A skinny white boy walking through the gates didn’t even get a glance, let alone a question or request to see a green card.

    The shift started and the shop floor was still pretty sparse. WTH?!?!?

    About 1/2 of the shop workers were absent that day. THEN I put 2 and 2 together. Ohhhhh…. Immigration. The light went on.

    A few of my co-workers were Californians of Mexican descent and citizens. No problem, though they got stopped at the gate. A few others had green cards and were let through. The rest had seen the cars and just drove on by.

    The next day, everyone was back at work and everyone behaved as if nothing had happened. Management and the supervisors said nothing. Normally, an absence drew a visit to ‘The Office’ and some questions from your supervisor. Not that time. It was just ‘Back to work.’

    That was my first realization ever that not everyone in the U.S, was here strictly legally. Talk about a naïve Mid-west kid! That was me.

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    I had the mirror image of that happen.

    When at the Mexican Buddy’s house (“Miguel”), the “Trucke Verde” would sometimes show up in the ally. (The INS used white / green colored trucks so “green truck” was the “go” phrase). Miguel, me, and “2 cousins” are in the living room. Another “friend’ comes in saying “INS trucke verde!” (Eee NN Esse Truck-eh Verr-day) and three or 4 folks bolt for the door. Well, we’d often have a bunch of us run out to play in a pack ( I was about 8 or 9 I think…) so I got up to “run” with them…

    Mama Celerina (who was about 4 foot 6 maybe but you did not want her yelling at you…) shouts at me: “Miguel Grande! What are you doing! Sit down. You don’t got to run from the INSe.”

    I sat down.

    It was the first time I felt “different” in their home.

    Miguel (their son, I was Big Miguel to tell us apart ;-) had bolted with the “cousins” to assure they had a “local guide” for all the holes, paths, yards, fences, dodges, whatever and, I suspect, as the “kid to be caught” so the others could get away while he presented his proof of citizenship (having been born here) and speaking very California English.

    The INS agent came to the front door. Asked if there were any “illegals” in the house. Papa, who always sat in a big rocker on the porch, produced his “Rail Road Retirement Card” (his “cover story” was just that “When we came to America in the 1800s there was no process but I’ve lived here my whole life and retired” but spoken in Spanish… it always worked.) Agent looked at me with an “Oh Gawd that kid is white gringo” look, and left.

    From that point forward I figured it was part of my duties to be the “Just us white gringos here” cover for the “cousins”. So if someone called in “new kid in that house that I think is illegal” the INS would find this Very White Gringo “new kid” and figure the call was just bogus. Seemed to work. Didn’t see much of them after that event.

    But after that I always felt just a little more “outsider”.

  12. philjourdan says:

    Not often seen in Mexico? Well, before I met my wife, the only burritos I knew were from Taco Bel. However, she and her siblings (2nd gen Americans – mother was from Guadalajara) basically showed me that other than the rolled part, your description is pretty accurate. But they did not roll it, they folded it so that the gooey would not drip out on your pants.

    And as far as I know, only my wife has ever been to Texas, none of the others have.

    Besides, just dumping salsa on Huevos does not capture for full flavor. So you add some Chorizo (or bacon or sausage) and your favorite salsa (hot of course), place in the middle of a tortilla, and then fold the bottom up, then wrap the sides around it. And Voila! A burrito is born.

    My wife likes Bean burritos, but beans are just a filler for me. I need meat!

  13. philjourdan says:

    @HR – The largest Hispanic demographic in this state is El Salvadorian. And it shows. Their “Mexican” is nothing like real Mexican (kind of a wimpy version). So I do not share your view about the Central and South Americans. We adopted a girl from Venezuela and she cannot tolerate the spiciness of Mexican food. She cooked us a traditional dinner from Venezuela (when they had food way back when), and while tasty, was more reminiscent of New England cooking (no spices).

    So if I want good Menudo, my wife has to make it. (Jaunita’s is not good Menudo, but will sustain a starving man).

  14. H.R. says:

    @phil – Huh?!? I didn’t say anything about El Salvadoran cuisine. I just mentioned that South and Central American cuisine was similar to Mexican – fresh, mild – and had some regional seasoning differences; different fruits and plants you know.

    E.M. is the one who mentioned El Salvador.

    I talked about Tex-Mex, which is much spicier, and bout my Mexican coworkers who would get a jalapeno to go with their sandwich or whatever, if they wanted heat. Hot was always on the side or added by the one eating the food.

    California-Mex is again a bit different from Mexican and Tex-Mex. There are some mildly spicy options, as I recall when living there. I suppose they figured us gringos liked a little heat. E.M. can address that better than I can. I only lived in SoCal for three years and that was about 45 years ago. That’s where I misspent my youth.

    E.M. mentioned something about some spiciness in Northern Mexican food; maybe, I think.

    I can see that as quite likely along the Texas-Mexican border where the there were a lot of families spread on both side of the border and wound up in Texas or Mexico when the lines were drawn. Lots of Tejenos where my mom’s folks were and they were actually the oldest families around.

    I’m not sure how it is along the Arizona-Mexico border. I just don’t know anything about that stretch.

    The only Hispanic food I’m aware of with some real heat in some of the dishes is Tex-Mex and some Caribe cooking. Oh, and here in the Midwest, where the people who finally discovered Mexican cuisine in the mid-’80s and thought it should be hot 🤣🤣 It was not until about 15 or so years ago that we started getting authentic Mexican restaurants around here.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    And what I said about El Salvador was, IIRC, that it was nice but not so heavily spiced / hot. That “hotness” is highest in the Tex-Mex to Cajun area, and grades out to lower in all directions from there.

    FWIW, stayed in a Navajo hotel on the Grand Canyon far end one night. Those folks DO love their spicy hot…


    “Guadalajara” as in the tourist mecca? After I pointed out they were most common in tourist areas?

    Then, again, you cite Mexican Spanish Definitions when I’ve stated that you must first choose your language to know what the word means? It is DIFFERENT in Mexican Spanish than it is in The USA English. Different language, different meaning, different product.

    The crisp taco and the mission burrito are both California Creations. Not Mexican. You can’t define them via Mexican Spanish. You can define them via Californio Spanish or English. The Mexican burrito (outside of tourist influenced areas) was originally a very small snack, not a meal.

    I don’t know how many ways I can say it…

    Crisp Taco = AMERICAN so use ENGLISH definition of “taco” – hard shell fried or baked.
    Soft floppy tortilla with stuff on it = MEXICAN dish, so use Mexican Spanish definition of “taco”.

    Different languages. Different objects / products / definition.

    Now it has been about 1/2 a century of crossover between Mexico and the USA, so eventually the two cultures and languages will approximate. That will start to show up in small areas and as little bits of “bleed over” (technically “word borrowing”). Taco Bell now has the “soft taco” (that is “just wrong” from a Californio / Tex-Mex POV) and the California “Mission Burrito” is showing up in tourist meccas of Mexico (where many locals have considered them “just wrong” too). But in each place some folks will embrace the foreign thing, and with it the foreign word (even if the sound made is the same, the meaning is foreign as the object is not as expected in the past).

    In essence, our “dispute” is over the state of completion of that blending. I’m saying “it isn’t done yet” and you are citing “here’s a place where it has happened”. Like asking what color is grey?…

  16. philjourdan says:

    @HR – El Salvador is part of central America, so I was just relating my experience with them. THe food is not bad, but not spicy either, I do love their fish, but understand that is standard fair south of the border (not spicy, but they cook it with the head on).

  17. philjourdan says:

    Guadalajara as in the birthplace of my mother-in-law. I have no idea if it is a tourist mecca or not. BUt they are very proud of their mostly French heritage. So perhaps that is why they are further south, but still like it spicy (although pure French do not really go into a lot of spiciness – just their former colonies).

  18. H.R. says:

    @philjourdan – Don’t get me started on Ecuadoran roasted guinea pigs 😜

  19. H.R. says:

    @philj re French cuisine influence in the Colonies and the native cuisine influence on French cuisine.

    Hmmm… never thought about or explored that connection and how that all worked out. I’ll have to keep my eye out for that cuisine.

    We have Louisiana as the example here in the States, but I really never looked for the ‘French’ behind their dishes. I’ll start paying more attention to that.

    And what about French cuisine influence in Africa?

  20. philjourdan says:

    @HR – Roasted Rodents? really? I guess I would try them, but they do not look appetizing.

    As for the French influence. Half my family came from the Caribbean French colonies (to settle in Louisiana) and the other half came from Canada (Arcadians). The ones from up there did not bring a lot of spiciness to the table. So perhaps it is just the French willingness to use what is available (after all – who else would look at a snail and wonder how it would taste in a garlic butter sauce?)

  21. E.M.Smith says:


    Aside from hosting a lot of international business and conventions and such:

    The city’s economy has two main sectors. Commerce and tourism employ most: about 60% of the population. The other is industry, which has been the engine of economic growth and the basis of Guadalajara’s economic importance nationally even though it employs only about a third of the population.
    A large segment of the commercial sector caters to tourists and other visitors. Recreational tourism is mainly concentrated in the historic downtown. In addition to being a cultural and recreational attraction and thanks to its privileged geographical location, the city serves as an axis to nearby popular beach destinations such as Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo and Mazatlán. Other types of visitors include those who travel to attend seminars, conventions and other events in fields such as academic, entertainment, sports, and business. The best-known venue for this purpose is the Expo Guadalajara, a large convention center surrounded by several hotels. It was built in 1987, and it is considered the most important convention center in Mexico.

    One of the top 2 economic activities is tourism. You’ve got folks from all over the world going there. It is a World Class City and economic hub with international connections. Being on the way to Puerto Vallarta doesn’t hurt either nor does:

    These companies focus on electrical and electronic items, which is now one of Guadalajara’s two main products (the other being beer). This has internationalized the economy, steering it away from manufacturing and toward services, dependent on technology and foreign investment.

    Now I must, at this point, confess that I may, just possibly, a little bit, bit, a-hem, “biased” in my perception by that whole “beer” thing… Maybe it isn’t a tourist mecca to those folks less, um, “beer oriented”… but common… Beer and Beaches nearby? I mean, that’s sort of heaven…

  22. philjourdan says:

    While I am no connoisseur of Mexican Beer, I have found many brands to be very good. As I later learned that is due to all the Germans migrating to Mexico after the world wars. (BTW – Corona is NOT one of the good ones).

    So it could be good beer. They got some master brewers from the home country. But as I have not sampled their local brews, I am neither biased for or against.

  23. Kent Gatewood says:

    My high school cafeteria introduction to the burrito began in Oklahoma in 1968.

    The burrito was fried. Covered in chili and cheddar cheese it became my model for a burrito.

    Seems strange to me for food places to serve an unfried tortilla wrap as a burrito. The Bayless Mexican food tv show was a revelation, just as you all are on this.

  24. H.R. says:

    @Kent G – In Arizona, a burrito that’s fried, and then served with shredded lettuce, fresh salsa, shredded cheese, and maybe a glop of guacamole and or sour cream is called………

    a chimichanga!

    Strangely enough, at least to me, is that at (very authentic) Mexican restaurants here in the Eastern Midwest, a chimichanga is the same as in Arizona.

    Meanwhile, in my three years in California, I never heard of such a thing as a chimichanga.

    I’d call a burrito as you described that they made in your H.S. cafeteria, SCRUMPTIOUS!

    I’m going to have to make some that way.

  25. E.M.Smith says:

    @Kent Gatewood:

    A fried burrito is a chimichanga:

    A chimichanga (/tʃɪmiˈtʃæŋɡə/; Spanish: [tʃimiˈtʃaŋɡa]) is a deep-fried burrito that is common in Tex-Mex and other Southwestern U.S. cuisine. The dish is typically prepared by filling a flour tortilla with various ingredients, most commonly rice, cheese, beans, and a meat such as machaca (dried meat), carne adobada (marinated meat), carne seca (dried beef), or shredded chicken, and folding it into a rectangular package. It is then deep-fried, and can be accompanied by salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or carne asada.

    FWIW, the Chimichanga is ALSO a USA Mexican American creation:

    According to one source, Monica Flin, the founder of the Tucson, Arizona, restaurant El Charro, accidentally dropped a burrito into the deep-fat fryer in 1922. She immediately began to utter a Spanish profanity beginning “chi…” (chingada), but quickly stopped herself and instead exclaimed chimichanga, a Spanish equivalent of “thingamajig”. Knowledge and appreciation of the dish spread slowly outward from the Tucson area, with popularity elsewhere accelerating in recent decades. Though the chimichanga is now found as part of the Tex-Mex cuisine, its roots within the U.S. are mainly in Tucson, Arizona.

    Woody Johnson, founder of Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen, claimed he had invented the chimichanga in 1946 when he put some burritos into a deep fryer as an experiment at his original restaurant Woody’s El Nido, in Phoenix, Arizona. These “fried burritos” became so popular that by 1952, when Woody’s El Nido became Macayo’s, the chimichanga was one of the restaurant’s main menu items. Johnson opened Macayo’s in 1952. Although no official records indicate when the dish first appeared, retired University of Arizona folklorist Jim Griffith recalls seeing chimichangas at the Yaqui Old Pascua Village in Tucson in the mid-1950s.

    So first came the burrito, then the fired burrito named “chimichanga”, so in theory you can call a chimichanga a burrito as it is a “Kind Of Burrito”… but it will be ambiguous in most places and few people will think you mean “fried burrito”…


    Oh we’ve got ’em:

    Don’t know in what year they arrived from Arizona, but being all of 6 hours to Phoenix from L.A. and having massive traffic between them I can’t imagine it took long.

  26. E.M.Smith says:


    Wonder if “Pan Fried” is different from “Deep Fried” burrito…

  27. philjourdan says:

    @HR – Chimichanga? OI!!!! I am quitting on line food definitions and Chiefios as well! I am sticking with my in-law Mexican food! At least they know what albondigas is!

  28. E.M.Smith says:


    Um, in the “Grammar Nazi” mode that seems in the wind lately… ( /snark; ) are not albondigas those savory meatballs? Isn’t that a plural thing? So ought not that be “… what albondigas are!”?

    Just sayin’… Gooses and Ganders and such, Oh My! 8-)

    What, you never had a Chimi? Bro! Drop your burrito in the deep fat fryer and enjoy the Arizona Mexican Twist!

    Really! Mexican influence is all over the American South and West. Just because they are on THIS side of the border doesn’t mean they can’t invent a new tasty twist! From the “Mission Burrito” to the Chimichanga to the crispy taco: ALL of them enhance the Hispanic Experience. Even if they are not to be found in the mid to southern Mexican cuisine.

    Besides, I am Hispanic…

    I’m Hispanic, who knew?

    As is 1/2 the world:

    Half The World Hispanic.

    You can’t expect 1/2 the world to have exactly the same foods and words…

  29. H.R. says:

    @phil – Precisely! I have no clue what albondigas are.

    I have run across the term in writing a few times, but I’ve never walked into a joint where they are on the menu.

    I see we are all getting E.M.’s point. It all depends on the location, language. local definitions and lingo apart from any other definitions… and what’s yummy in spite of all the differences.

    Where’s Compu Gator? He’s a serious hobbyist linguist and etymologist, and a hot pepper aficionado., not to mention his interest in beers of all sorts.

    I hope he’s OK and will weigh in. He has mentioned health problems. OTOH, this might just be driving him crazy because it’s all so…….. messy, innit?
    I’m all for the YUM! factor and to hell with what it’s called.

    P.S. to phil – I’ve only had menudo once or twice and obviously not memorable or I could say exactly how many times. I envy your ‘pusher’ who provides your menudo ‘fix.’ It sounds like the uncut good stuff.

  30. philjourdan says:

    Way back in 6th grade in Cali no less, we did a play in Spanish as a class project. The jiist of it was that a lady could not eat her “soup” which was Albondigas. I had never had it. Flash forward 50 years and my SIL made it for us. I raved about it! My wife got peeved. So when we got home, she made HER albondigas and it was better!

    Moral – if you want something from your wife, just praise one of her sisters!

    BTW: I have no clue if it is singular or plural. That play was in 1969. And I have forgotten a lot since then. And yes, I know all Gaelic are Hispanic. I have used that trick before

  31. philjourdan says:

    68 – in 69 I was in Jr High

  32. philjourdan says:

    @H.R. – I have never been to a restaurant that served Albondigas as well. But at least I know where to find Menudo (Brownies on Main Street in Brawley).

    That is why it took me almost 50 years to find out what it is. But even though I met my in-laws in 03, no one had served it until 17. But they had been fixing it as my Niece, who could not make dinner, was very upset she missed out on the meatballs!

    My wife’s was still better. :-)

  33. philjourdan says:

    @HR again. I guess Menudo is an acquired taste, I acquired it as soon as I tasted it! But if you ask what is in it, half the people will gag reflexively. Menudo’s key ingredient is tripe – That is the digestive tract of a cow (Stomach/Intestines). It actually has very little taste, but a nice chewy texture. And its use is to absorb the spices that are put into Menudo! So you do not have to “sip” the soup to get the full flavor. Just chew on the tripe!

    Back when I was young and poor and a steak was a chuck arm (and we devoured it!), there was always a piece of gristle. And we fought over it! Why? Gristle is just cartilage and has no taste! But it did absorb the flavor of the meat, and it lasted a long time!!!! When you get steak maybe twice a year (usually as a birthday dinner), you wanted the flavor to last!

    BTW, for the Official Grammar Nazi, I recently had Cataract surgery. Before then, I did not know how bad my left eye was, but I found I did not need reading glasses to read a computer screen! Now I do until my brain figures out what is going on with my eyes, As I have worn glasses since I was knee high to a grasshopper (until 2004 when I got Lasik), I do not like wearing even reading glasses. But am resigned to know I need them in the short term until my eyes balance out, However, I do not always put them on, thus my misspellings (but not grammar mistakes), Please forgive my obstinance about donning 4 eyes.

  34. E.M.Smith says:


    First off: YES! Tripe is tasteless. However… it does soak up all the wonderful additions to the sopa… I really like menudo… What can I say, I grew up with it and Mama Celerina could do wonders with nothing…

    Per vision issues:

    Most of the time I’m still good with zero correction. Some times, on small fonts and on low contrast, I have issues. I’m finally coming to accept I need to carry readers and not just depend on a a “pinhole camera” effect from making a pin hole with a fist…

    OTOOH: Making a pin hole with a finger curl has saved me many times…


    Many Sunday meals were put in the oven at 275 F when we headed to church at about 9 am. Chuck Roast, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, occasionally turnips, etc. salt & pepper… all in a roasting pan. After last sermon ended (often AFTER noon.. much to my annoyance as a hungry 9 year old…) we’d get home about 1 PM to a glorious smell and wonderful “Sunday Roast”… The “old school” version of a “slow cooker”….

    I didn’t know that “chuck roast” was the cheapest cut of beef until decades later. To me, it was always the BEST cut… Just because of how it was done.

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