A burrito being made at Chipotle Mexican Restaurant at the University of Florida. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
The Mission-Style Burrito Was Invented For Hungry Firefighters
California is no stranger to Mexican food, and one of San Francisco's most iconic foods is the Mission burrito. This hearty staple is typically filled with heaps of rice, beans, meat (carnitas and carne asada are some of the most popular), cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and shredded lettuce, and its impressive heft is no accident.
In 1961, Febronio Ontiveros, owner of restaurant El Faro, is said to have made the first-ever Mission burritos for hungry firefighters down the street. These 9 to 10-inch-long burritos that used enormous tortillas became a staple of San Fran's Mission district before its popularity spreaded to the rest of the city and beyond.
Rice-heavy burritos aren't as fashionable nowadays, since rice is often considered to be "filler," but those heaps of rice certainly satiated the firefighters of the 1960s. The Mission "more is more" formula is still going strong in burritos in California and other U.S. states, and these iconic wraps are sure to satisfy a firefighter-size appetite.