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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Benefits of Bean and Beef Burritos

It's been a while since I've enjoyed the fine microwave dilectable, better known as a beef and bean burrito. Mmmm. Don't you just love the way they make that "schlop" sound as they slide out of the plastic wrapper? Seriously though, there is something that is just so attractive about them, that no matter how gross they seem in principle, you just have to have one every once in a while. I tasted the savoury entree this week and it brought back such memories.

If you are a connisseur of the microwavable treat like I am, then you are well aware of it's major drawback. No, not the fact that its greatest point of sale is a gas station. No, not the low grade (borderline disgusting) ingredients that fill the tortilla. Yes, it's the fact that when you remove it from the microwave, steaming hot and burn your fingers trying to hold it by the corners fo the wrapper while the steam escapes. You gingerly take the first bite and molten legume sears your tongue and cheek. After a few horrifying seconds of juggling the bite between your teeth and various parts of your mouth you are finally able to swallow it. Your mouth, now so scorched you can't taste the rest of the burrito, which is truly the benefit, because if anyone actually could taste it they wouldn't sell another one. By the time you make it half way through the burrito, your mouth is so relieved to eat the still semi-frozen center that you don't care it's ice cold, it just soothes your tongue. Finally by the last bite, you get the perfect temperature and consistency, which you still can't taste.

Well, leave it to some sciece geek at Cal Tech to analyze this process. (
Below is an infrared image of heat distribution of the microwave burrito. Duh! I could have drawn that picture for them without all the high tech equipment. You want to be a help? Develop a microwave that cooks the darn thing evenly.