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17 June 1996

Roman Burritos

A friend of mine recently suffered gastronomic grief when she ordered a burrito at "The Rat," a rural pub. (According to the pub's menu, there are many explanations of the origin of the establishment's name, but none were recounted. I have personally ruled out any possibility of a correlation with "rathskeller.")

The food object in question--the so-called "burrito"--proved to be the catalyst for a great deal of conjecture. Clearly it had been subjected to a great deal of heat, but from what sources? Broiling? Boiling? Baking? Deep fat frying? What combination in what order?

The truth was, predictably, stranger than any of us ever imagined.

Based on the reports of one of my dinner guests, The Rat was raided by special police from The Bureau of Foodstuffs and Antiquities. Investigators discovered that the burritos sold at The Rat were in fact ancient Roman burritos stolen by grave robbers from the recently exposed ruins of the fort preserved in the Ben Vevo Glacier. As it turned out, the distressed state of the burrito was caused by almost two millennia of freezer burn.

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©1996 David Glenn Rinehart