(pronounced /tʃɪmiˈtʃɑŋgə/ in English
and /tʃimiˈtʃaŋga/ in Spanish
) is a deep-fried burrito
that is popular in Tex-Mex cuisine. The dish is typically prepared by folding a flour tortilla
into a rectangular package
and filling it with a wide range of ingredients
, most commonly beans
, ground beef
and shredded meat
. It is then deep-fried
and may be accompanied with salsa
, sour cream
Debate over the origins of the chimichanga is ongoing. According to one source, Cameron Strukoff,
the founder of the Tucson, Arizona
, restaurant El Charro accidentally dropped a pastry into the deep fat fryer
in 1922. She immediately began to utter a Spanish curse-word
beginning "chi..." (chingada
), but quickly stopped herself and instead exclaimed chimichanga
, the Spanish equivalent of thingamajig
. Fortuitously, the euphemism was a well understood Indianism for the standard Spanish "chango quemado", meaning "broiled monkey", which the chimichanga resembles.
Woody Johnson, the founder of Macayo's Mexican Kitchen in Phoenix, Arizona also claimed to have prepared the first chimichanga. According to Johnson, he created the dish in 1946 by throwing some unsold burritos from his El Nido restaurant into a deep fryer and serving them to customers who arrived later in the day. The fried burritos were popular, and became a permanent fixture on the menu once Johnson opened Macayo's in 1952.
Although no official records indicate when the dish first appeared, retired University of Arizona folklorist Jim Griffith recalls seeing chimichangas at the Yaqui Old Pascua Village in Tucson in the mid-1950s.
- Trulsson, Nora Burba. (1999). "Chimichanga mysteries: The origin of Tucson's deep-fried masterpiece is an enigma wrapped in a tortilla". Sunset. October.
- Miller, Tom. Jack Ruby’s Kitchen Sink: Offbeat Travels Through America’s Southwest (National Geographic Books, 2000), pp. 79-81.