Burritos, that is a soft flour tortilla stuffed with refried beans, meat and grated cheese which is deep-fried and often served with soured cream (US: cultured sour cream) and guacamole. Actually more common in the United States than they are in Mexico.
A Chimichanga (also known as a “chivechanga” or “fried burro”) is essentially a fried burrito, popular in most Tex-mex cuisines. Although chimichangas can be served differently according to preference, the general consensus seems to be to use a simple flour tortilla, stuff it with various fillings and ingredients, and wrap the tortilla into a rectangular shape. Then toss the generously filled tortilla in a deep fryer until it’s outside is crispy, crunchy, and golden. The finished product is served on a plate and topped with an assortment of queso sauce, sourcream, salsa, and guacamole (Stradley). A chimichanga can be filled with almost anything. Some common fillings include rice, beans, meat (shredded, finely chopped, or diced), vegetables, and cheese. A popular pork filling, called carne adobada, incorporates marinated pork, chilies, olives, and onion into the chimichanga recipe. Chicken, beef, and even fish are also widely used meats to fill chimichangas, as are vegetables such as squash and zucchini (Chimichanga).
One divergence from the original chimichanga is the “minichimi”, which is just a small version—perfect for an appetizer or a snack—and frequently served with a dipping sauce of salsa or guacamole. A dessert form of the chimichanga has even arisen, prepared with a chocolate and/or fruit filling (Trulsson).
Many Arizonans consider the chimichanga their claim to fame. It’s widely presumed that the origin of the chimichanga lies somewhere in the US state of Arizona, a territory that previously belonged to the Sonora region of Mexico, but the exact place and person of Arizona behind the invention of the chimichanga is still debated today.
Lexicographer: Laura Perry, Tulane University
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Henderson, John. "A Moveable Feast: We all win as Chimichanga War rages on." Denver Post 24 01 2007, n. pag. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. <http://bi.galegroup.com/essentials/article/GALE|A158252806/a169ae0757f157e27531928952970ea2?u=tulane_rbw>.
Lacey, Marc. "It's Cross-Cultural and Fried, And Arizonans Vie to Claim It." New York Times 16 Nov. 2011: A1(L). Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 3 Nov. 2013.
Sterling, Justine. "Chimichanga's Origins Fry Up Controversy in Arizona." Delish. N.p., 17 11 2011. Web. 4 Nov 2013. <http://www.delish.com/food/recalls-reviews/chimichanga-nominated-as-arizona-state-food>.
Stradley, Linda. "Chimichanga." Whats Cooking America. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov 2013. <http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Chimichanga.htm>.
Trulsson, Nora Burba. "Chimichanga Mysteries." Sunset. 10 1999: 40-43. Web. 3 Nov. 2013. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=e726f0fd-3fa4-4964-ab2e-