Arizona may seem to be falling apart at the seams, but we can bring it back together with the chimichanga.
Tucson’s El Charro Café and Phoenix’s Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen have blended their efforts to produce a petition to get the chimichanga named as Arizona’s official state food. The petition, available for signing at checkyesforchimi.com, is timed to fall in line with Arizona upcoming 100th birthday.
El Charro and Macayo both lay claim to the origins of the chimichanga with stories of accidentally knocking a burrito (pictured) into a deep fryer some years back. One tale says the cook began to utter a Spanish swear word beginning with “chimi-” when she saw the burrito bobbing merrily in hot oil then quickly switched her word to “chimichanga.” The closest English translation is “thingamajig.”
Eureka, the chimichanga was born.
Before we delve any deeper into this culinary wonder, we do have to present the ugly, artery-hardening facts. Calories in a single chimichanga range anywhere from about 365 to more than 1,500, depending on the size and what you pack inside. The USDA National Nutrient Database puts a 180-gram beef, cheese and red chili pepper chimichanga at 1,521 calories, with about 15 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates and nearly 18 grams fat.