Chapter 2

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THE PERFECT BURRITO
The Quixotic Culinary Quest of Don Miguel de Los Angeles no McDonalds

Posted: Monday, January 5, 9:30 PM.

MANIFESTO

        Hola, mis amigos and bienvenidos to my blog.
        You, my reader, will find here writ The Gospel According to Miguel, testimony of the truth as I find and understand it, the chronicle of my journey seeking godhead and perfection in the oblong form of the burrito.
        “Why the burrito?” you may well ask.
        To which I may well answer, “Why not?”
        The Divine may, after all, be found in an infinite number of forms, may it not? For the scholar, it is eternally bound within the leathern pages of a Quran, Bible, or Upanishad; for the inner seeker, it is in the breath, in the Om, in the
hara somewhere between the navel and pubis; for the musically inclined, in the soaring finale of a baroque Passion, the soaring Gothic echoes of a Gregorian chant, or the intertwining vibrations of a singing brass bowl; for the artist, in the transitory beauty of a sand mandala, the transcendent lines of a Pietá, or the throbbing surge of primordial life force itself in a Rothko.
        For the burritophile, it comes wrapped in a tortilla, and this should surprise no one.
        The Divine may be found wherever one seeks it, but it is never found without first the dedication to its pursuit, a pursuit that I proclaim here. As Galahad sought the Grail, as Don Amadis of Gaul sought his own origins, or, more exactly, as Don Quixote sought fame and adventure in order to redound to the greater glory and honor of his Dulcinea, I, unworthy though I am, will attempt to redeem my own mortal sins by seeking and revealing The Perfect Burrito.
        Second, you may well ask: can perfection be attained by any but God? This is of course a question for a philosopher; I am merely a humble warrior, a servant, an apostle, an acolyte, a prophet, a knight-errant of the burrito’s chivalric order, roaming the world proclaiming its righteousness, my way guided by the holy light reflected by its enveloping foil. Yes, a burrito is merely a humble congregation of beans, meat, tomatoes, onions, and chiles, parts which may, unto themselves, be simple, even ordinary; but when combined and contained, given form and shape by an enveloping tortilla—like the Word of God manifested as the World (and mayhap served
mojado, i.e., with cheese and sauce on top)—it becomes not merely a convenient handheld meal, but a universe unto itself, a sub-creation with a capital C, a Platonic shadow of the essential Divine.
        Like its distant cousin the pizza (and I will not deny the godhead of the Pie, for I am a tolerant and merciful knight, and though I often lunch at the altar of Pizza, it is not the one at which I take communion), the burrito is a vessel that may contain the essential ingredients of humanity itself: art, aesthetics, beauty, love, wisdom, history, philosophy, and guacamole.
        Finally, you will bring the question skeptically back around to the Burrito itself. Even if perfection is attainable, is it likely to manifest itself in the microwaveables section of your local mini-mart? And is the worship of such a Silver Calf not idolatry?
        To which I answer: if a humble pair of intersecting cedar beams could become the sacred symbol of mankind’s redemption, before which we bow down in humility and awe; if a humble piece of some ascetic’s dinnerware could become the very vessel of Divine Grace, sought even unto death by the very Knights of the Round Table; then surely I may be allowed the Quest of The Perfect Burrito. For I seek it not as a replacement for, or rival to, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but as a manifestation of them as Protein, Tortilla, and Extras. And I vouchsafe here and now, as God is my witness: if The Perfect Burrito is to be found, fear not—I, Don Miguel de Los Angeles no McDonalds, will find it; and as Christ gave His life for our sins, I will reveal it unto you as redemption for mine.
        So: praise the Lard and pass the Tapatío.