I just learned that Dunkin' Donuts has introduced two breakfast burritos: the Southwest Veggie Breakfast Burrito and the Southwest Steak Breakfast Burrito. While I do not begrudge DDs its newfound interest in the fine art of creating the breakfast burrito, I can't help but scratch my donut hole in bewilderment as to why it would choose to dabble in this while neglecting to offer a long-proposed donut breakfast sandwich instead.
I am an unapologetic breakfast burrito purist. I don't want to see my precious morning repast perverted into a franken-fail mixture of weird ingredients like raisins, bones and capers, wrapped in a flour tortilla. I want eggs, some form of over-salted breakfast meat, cheese, chile and potatoes. And in defense of the sacred morning wrap, here are five reasons why breakfast burritos should be made right -- or not at all.
5. Because making simple things complicated is a thin slice of insanity.
It really doesn't get any simpler than breakfast burritos, and they don't need avocado, tomatoes or anything else you'd normally find on a salad to make them great. Maybe just a side of hot salsa to open the face-wakey-vents, or an extra layer of aluminum foil to keep all the warm insides warm. I've found that early mornings are not the time to attempt anything tricky.
4. Because healthy adjustments are fine, but makeovers usually are not. I understand and fully endorse healthful modifications and fine-tuning of popular breakfast items -- making them egg whites-only, or with lower fat/sodium ham, turkey or chicken sausage or bacon, less or lowfat cheese, and potatoes that are baked, not fried. And our vegan and vegetarian friends should absolutely get to have their burritos and eat them too: tofu scramble, cashew cheese and veggie-meat nuggets are the perfect way to enjoy breakfast burritos in meatless form. But stuffing them full of quasi-healthy and faux-designer extras like caramelized onions, sautéed bell peppers and Southwestern seasoning mixes is not adding anything useful, and might actually make them less healthy than the originals.
3. Because it's difficult to screw up eggs, meat, chile cheese and potatoes, but some manage to do it.
Respect the institution of the morning breakfast burrito enough to fill it with ingredients that are properly prepared. We've all known the heartbreak and shattered expectations of a burrito crammed full of burnt or watery scrambled eggs; tough, chewy old meat; rubbery cheese and soggy potatoes with too much/too little chile. It's a terrible, horror-show feeling to unwrap a badly-made burrito, and taking the time and effort to make sure everything is just right should be mandated by law.
The top two reasons are on Page 2. 2. Because it's breakfast, not a fashion show.
Somewhere along the way breakfast burritos became trendy, and with this came attempts to create them with ingredients that are completely unnecessary and used for the show. Flavored tortillas are not needed. Stylish herbs are not needed. And anyone who attacks a breakfast burrito with truffle oil deserves to be shot (p-tooh! p-tooh!).The important part of eating a breakfast burrito is eating it -- not being seen with a mouthful of alfalfa sprouts and aioli.
1. Because sometimes reinvention isn't necessary.
Re-interpreting the breakfast burrito leaches creativity from other areas of your busy lives, but if you really feel the overwhelming urge to Picasso-out a breakfast "wrap" with things off the traditional filling menu, by all means, knock yourselves out. Just don't call it a breakfast burrito. Let the rest of us buy good old-fashioned ones from someone's Styrofoam cooler, and enjoy them as natural law intended.