When my stomach cries out “yo necessito burritos,” my first thought was never a frozen burrito. Nor was it “why is my stomach talking to me?” Normally, I’d convince coworkers to save their sack lunch and adventure to the closest taqueria. If I had the ingredients at home, I would make my own.
The folks at Red’s Natural Foods reached out with some samples of their natural and organic burrito offerings. Maybe it was my #burritos2015 campaign that caught their eye. Their latest frozen burritos go way beyond what you’d envision from an icy burrito buried in the freezer section. The few frozen burritos I have had prior to Red’s were bean and cheese or something labeled meat and cheese.Red’s beat Chipotle to the non-GMO announcement. In February, they rolled out their non-GMO and organic tortilla presents to the Midwest. Costco is your best bet to track down a box. They sent me four of the eight options.
- Steak & Cheese
- Chicken & Cheese
- Chipotle Beef & Bean
- Organic Bean & Cheddar
Rather than hog all the burritos and institute the gastronomic dream of a burrito a day, I told my coworkers we would have a burrito taste test. I fired up the toaster oven, unwrapped and inspected the frozen burritos. They had the shape of a burrito and were ample size. Depending on how hungry you are, these could be well complemented by a side of refried beans or, better yet, a salad. Might as well keep the healthy kick going since these are natural and antibiotic-free. Plus, you can chuck some of the lettuce into your burrito to dress it up.
After 10 minutes in the toaster oven, I finished the burrito samples in my office’s Panini press to ensure there was a nice crisp. Food with grill marks somehow tastes better. I attempted to cut the burritos in quarters so everyone could sample a few. This wasn’t my wisest idea. Trying to cut a burrito is like herding cats. The burrito contents oozed out of the crispy tortilla as my serrated knife divided the once frozen burrito. Burritos were divined to be eaten by hand. Some friends believe burritos should be cut in half to evenly distribute sour cream and optimize the sense of accomplishment of eating two mini burritos. I prefer to grasp my burrito and relinquish my grip only to wipe the tears of joy from my eyes.
My coworkers all enjoyed Red’s Natural burritos, as did I. The bittersweet moment was sharing them, so I didn’t fully get to dissect each burrito and take notes on the differences between each flavor. Luckily, I have a few more in my freezer for my post-workout sustenance or days when I am stuck at my desk. The Bean & Cheddar was the most familiar. The Chipotle burrito may be my front runner. The others had distinct flavors, which is rare among some frozen foods.
It’s hard to compare a frozen product to one freshly made. Red’s offerings will win for the healthy attributes versus hyper processed alternatives and mystery ingredients. Their flavors all taste fresh. There are limitations to frozen burritos, namely a lack of extras like fresh cilantro or diced veggies. I would suggest adding some of your favorite items like salsa, sliced olives or a dollop of sour cream to elevate the freezer find to taqueria tier.