Chimichanga origin

Sun Jun 4 09:28:36 UTC 2000

Rudy Troike wrote:

>The chimichanga is a type of burrito, and evidently originated in the NW
>Mexico/SW US area, though it spread with remarkable rapidity. I found
>chimichangas in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in the early 1980s. There was
>an article speculating on its origin in the Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
>several years ago, in the weekly food section, but I don't remember the
>details. It may be possible to check the archives of the paper, but I
>doubt that they are machine-accessible that far back. The paper
>a current electronic form in its AZSTAR.NET.

I found:

The earliest written evidence (from Nexis) is provided in the quotation:

Less hungry souls can order more simply from either the "combinaciones"
section, which featured such as tacos, chili relleno or tostada for
$2.95 to $4.55, or from the ala carte section, which offered one
Mexican dish, such as enchiladas,  chimichanga,  tostada and the like,
for $1.20 to $3.95.    Our group managed to hit all the tastes.  Our
son Doug, who hates beans and has a milder aversion to spicy food, was
worried about all the dishes.  Penelope Lemov, The Washington Post,
Oct. 5, 1978, Maryland sect., p 12

Making of America had nothing.

>From the Web I found after a brief search:

If you deep fry a burro, it becomes a chimichanga -- a truly local dish
            southern Arizona or northern Sonora. There are many legends
concerning the
            origin of the chimichanga its apparently meaningless name
(some folks insist
            it's a chivichanga). I don't know which, if any, might be
the truth... I'd
            honestly rather eat the things than argue about their

I'll keep my eye open for more.

David K. Barnhart, Editor
The Barnhart Dictionary Companion [quarterly]
barnhart at

"Necessity obliges us to neologize."
Thomas Jefferson-August 16, 1813

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