Is it okay to eat a side burrito? Justin Bieber sparks a debate.

adminOctober 25, 2018




A great beef burrito at El Gran Taco Loco in San Francisco on June 13, 2017. Photo: Nicole Boliaux, The Chronicle

Recently a photo appeared online that shows Canadian pop star Justin Bieber (or someone who looks a lot like him) eating a burrito. Oblique.

While there seems to be no wrong way to eat a food that is casual by design, until now it has been understood how to operate one of these casings wrapped in aluminum foil: keep them upright, use both hands and bring the burrito to his face (instead of burying his face in the burrito as shown below). Like all significant moments of intimacy, you have to make your way slowly by peeling the sheet in layers as you go down. And never, never ask for the lettuce.

Because Bieber is such an important influence on young people, we believe it is necessary to clarify this matter immediately. I consulted the editor of The Chronicle Food, Paolo Lucchesi, and the popular culture critic / burritos expert Peter Hartlaub for information on the basic label:

Q: Why do you think Justin Bieber is eating his burrito on his side?

Lucchesi: This is clearly the first burrito he has ever had.

Hartlaub: I've been thinking about this a lot since I saw the picture. My best guess is that he is the method of acting, playing some kind of person or creature of the animal kingdom that does not have opposable thumbs. I will not be surprised to know that you are expressing an otter or a bear in an upcoming Disney movie.

Lucchesi: Peter makes a good point, but the extension of the fingers and the action of gnawing makes me think of a raccoon.

Q: Is it acceptable to remove the aluminum foil from your burrito at the same time?

Lucchesi: In general, I am not of the rules of food, since I believe that everyone has the right to enjoy the universal pleasure that is food in any way that brings joy to a person. but neverthelessIt is unacceptable to remove all the foil from one burrito at a time. From a purely architectural point of view, the burrito can not sustain itself adequately without its support system. In fact, this error in the trial may be the cause of this contamination of the mid-burrito section.

Hartlaub: I could see a situation in which one could, theoretically, need to perform some type of emergency burrito surgery. Just like if you discover that someone puts kale in your burrito and you need to eliminate it. Or if your burrito maker says, "I lost my wedding ring, could I check your burrito?" But in that case, you should immediately replace the aluminum foil. So not really.

The right way: Peter Hartlaub has a bite of a burrito, on Monday, April 30, 2018, in San Francisco, California. Photo: Santiago Mejía, La Crónica.

Q: that is The best way to deal with structural deficiencies in burritos: holes, tears, drops? Do you eat quickly like an ice cream cone or do you move the sheet upwards?

Lucchesi: Poor architecture is the number one defect of burritos, not just the aluminum exoskeleton, but also the distribution of interior ingredients. No one wants to be dazed with a bite of common rice, or find the macaw hidden in the background. As such, the best defense against a poor burrito design is to go to your trusty taco shop and back it up again and again. But if structural deficiencies are unavoidable, then the best solution is to move quickly. Time is the essence.

Hartlaub: What happens in this picture is not the burrito's fault. Imagine if someone ran through the airport with the suitcase open and turned it around. Is Samsonite guilty for all the clothes scattered on the floor? Careful blade maintenance should handle most deficiencies. Apart from that, it is vital to place as many fingers as possible in the seam of the burrito, to extend and hold firmly as a saxophonist, to maintain structural integrity. Bieber is not doing any of these things.

Justin Bieber: he does not know how a burrito works. (Jon Shapley / Houston Chronicle) Photo: Jon Shapley, Houston Chronicle

Q: It seems like there's a piece of lettuce sticking out of Bieber's burrito. Does the lettuce belong to a burrito?

Lucchesi: I vote no, although I will say that I have eaten lettuce and cabbage in burritos that are not from the Mission and it is not as bad as I thought. But here is the thing, if … a great yes! – You'll have lettuce in the burrito, it needs to be grated and not shriveled. I have come very close to this photo and it seems to me that the lettuce is a thick leaf and is discolored, which implies a withering. That's not good.

Q: What do you think happened 5 minutes after the Bieber photo was taken?

Lucchesi: He bit into half the lettuce burrito and suddenly, the burrito split in half, leaving our hero with a burrito ending dismembered in each of his legs. Confused by this unexpected turn of events, our hero proceeded to look at his two handfuls of burritos. Then, the idea came up, like a bolt of Canadian lightning, just as Elaine created "Top of the Muffin to You" in that episode of "Seinfeld", that's how she created the perfect food: the burrito ends.

Hartlaub: The burrito should definitely have fallen to the ground moments after this photo was taken. A member of his entourage then ran and grabbed a second burrito, which was liquefied in a shake to prevent another disaster.

A Carnitas Burrito at La Taqueria in San Francisco. Photo: John Storey, special for the chronicle.

Q: The last bite of a burrito is the best bite. Truth or really right?

Lucchesi: In a well-built, very close burrito, this is really true. Although the first bite is also pretty, pretty good.

Hartlaub: Usually, either the best or the worst, depending on the manufacturer of burritos. Badly constructed burritos can end up with a kind of burrito soup in the background.

Q: As a follow-up to the last question, what do you do with the sheet when it ends?

Hartlaub: I began to wonder silently if I should put the sheet in compost or recycling. Then, I wish the burrito site had a recycling bin the size of Stuart Little where I could deposit my wad of gum-sized burrito paper. Then I put the small aluminum ball in the full-sized human recycling.

Q: Is it because he is Canadian?

Hartlaub: I do not think so. But to be fair, I've never seen a member of Rush eat a burrito.

Lucchesi: Unclear This requires a bit of investigative journalism, so I'm going to walk around the Mission looking for Canadians who eat burritos.

Next time in "How to eat your food":




  • Aidin Vaziri

    Aidin Vaziri is the pop music critic of The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: avaziri@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @MusicSF



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