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Cinco de Mayo is almost here, which means it's time to knock piñatas, drink margaritas, and wrap burritos. But don't just dump yummy stuff in a tortilla and roll—there's a science to it. The cooks at Stack Exchange offer a few tips on the perfect fold.
What's the best technique to close the tortilla when preparing a burrito so that it doesn't come undone when it's time to eat?
Folding a burrito is serious business. Get it wrong and you'll end up dumping most of the contents all over the place and look like a burrito noob. Get it right and your hands and plate will be perfectly clean, and you'll no longer be hungry. Beware: publicly flaunting these skills might lead to people wanting you to fold their burritos for them.
First off: make sure your tortilla is ready to be folded. A cold or dried out tortilla is likely to crack or split. Use a warm and moist tortilla. Second: don't overfill the tortilla. If you have small tortillas don't try to make a giant burrito and expect that to work.
Now that we have the basics out of the way let's get to folding. See the flash animation at Chow.com.
- Place the contents in the approximately center of your partially folded tortilla. Leave plenty of room on the ends otherwise you'll most surely have food spilling out once it's folded up. Hold the filled tortilla so the weight of the filling pulls it tight. If your burrito busts through now, it will certainly burst later. If not, proceed to step 2.
- Fold one end towards the center.
- Fold the other end over.
- Roll the bottom (the end nearest you) up towards the top. This isn't the intuitive way, but it's the right way. Make sure not to let the food squeeze out. I hold it with my fingers at the crease where the bottom edge that's been folded up meets the food.
- Keep rolling it up.
- Om nom nom.
The most important and easy thing to do with any tortilla before folding it is to warm the tortilla to make it supple and not to crack. The best warming is over a range/stove burner (open flame or electric). Just keep rotating the tortilla until it is no longer stiff. Then stuff it right away while it's still warm. (You can also use a microwave to warm the tortilla, but it will come out dryer—with a bigger risk of "post-consumption gut bloat.")
Be sure to use high quality tortillas, especially for burros/burritos. If it's a low fat or corn/maize tortilla, you're not going to have good luck no matter what. It will crack and won't fold and hold well at all. Use flour tortillas. Not the most authentic Mexican food item, but then again, neither is the modern burrito.