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Proposed (by me) ban on wraps


Fat Guy
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Please tell me I'm not alone in my contempt for "wraps," that unique American amalgam of the burrito, the ssam, the banh cheo and the frankie, with the appeal of none. Can somebody please explain to me why a cold, flat, soggy piece of dough wrapped around (and around, and around) an undifferentiated mass of fillings was ever thought to be a good idea? And don't even get me started on the stupid wrap humor ("That's a Wrap") that seems to be evident in the genre.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
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I hate wraps, too. The "tortilla" used in wraps (if that's what it's supposed to be) always has some sort of odd flavour--very chemically. And the fillings are always so dry and boring.

I want someone to explain to me why they're so popular. Why do people like them so much?

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Hmmm, I've never experienced a distinctly American "wrap." Nothing too offensive here on the wrap front. Some that spring to mind include a humble cart found in some malls that have tuna salad for example, tomatoes, and lettuce in a pita (I guess not a wrap), and a KFC wrap of chicken fingers, dressing, lettuce, and cheese. Shawarma counted?

What fillings are found in these American wraps? Can someone post a non-uglified picture? :smile: Also curious as to whether the embracer is closer to stale bread, dough, or tortilla.

Mark

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Wraps are for people who think they have less carbs than bread, not only does the average jumbo tortilla style wrap have carbs equal to 2 slices of bread they usually also contain fat unlike most sandwich breads.

But they do make pretty platters.

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Here's a link to Mission Deli's website--according to them, they're the number 1 producers of wraps (the actual wrap part) in the world.

And please notice the recipe for the ever favourite sardine and avocado wrap!! :blink: It does kind of sound like something Filipinos my eat (my mother loves sardines and avocados--and she especially loves the fried sardines that come in a can).

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Thanks for the explanation, Rona :smile: it actually seems appetizing, not an undifferentiated mass. Not the direction FG was planning on going! (although I find avocados are rarely used in savory dishes here, except in guacamole which is not even common outside a Mexican resto. Love them sardines!)

Not yet aboard the contempt train! :smile: okay, maybe I should see an uglified picture:

http://www.candyboots.com/wwcards/hotwrapups.html

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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You know what pisses me off about Wraps?

I'll tell you what pisses me off about them...

In the Ads, everyone's having a great old time, wrapping stuff here, there and all over the place. Meat, veggies and condiments all neatly bundled up in a perfectly compacted, shaped Tortilla. The kids love it, the parents, even the grandparents are loving it! No problem!

That never happens! Wraps are messy, you can't get anywhere near as much filling in them as the Ads make out. If they're not warm, they snap when you fold them and if you do get everything crammed in there, it just falls out again and you go crawling back to Mr. Fork, who helps you finish what fell out, before you can finally wrap the remains of your Tortilla around a bit of filling. It's not fun, it doesn't bring the family together and on top of that, when you're done with your first, someone asks:

"Are you having another?"

:angry: Yeah, I totally want another one...

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Wraps have always seemed to me to be superb in concept and inedible in execution. Further, the ad photos manage to make them look positively appetizing so it's a double whammy when you actually bite into one! :angry: Tasteless ingredients wrapped in cardboard. Still I hold out hope that somehow they can be made to live up to expectations. But not with the cardboard available around here!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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OMG! Here I thought this was my own personal prejudice. Nasty, soggy, tasteless things!

There may be good ones somewhere but I have never had one.

Thanks, Fat Guy for bringing this to our attention.

Wooohee! I'm not alone.

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Hmmm...I'm not totally anti-wrap, but I usually make 'em myself so at least the fillings are OK. My problem is finding a wrapper that doesn't have the chemical taste some of you have also picked up. And also finding ones that are a reasonable size! (I used to be able to get wonderful fresh flour tortillas in the previous town I lived in. Alas, no more. :sad: )

BUT, I will say that they were almost the cleanest thing for me to eat when traveling if I filled them properly (e.g. didn't overstuff them, used minimally gloppy fillings) and wrapped them properly (e.g. with wax paper so I would peel it back). They always seemed easier to hold with one hand as opposed to sandwiches if I was driving. I generally don't like eating out when on the road, especially when my only options are fast food.

However, I never order wraps out because of the excess of crappy wrapper and the too-often gross, oozy fillings. Especially if part of the glop is soggy lettuce and mealy tomatoes :hmmm: .

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Isn't this just a subset of the greater problem: almost nobody in the USA can manufacture a decent tortilla, and those who can aren't distributing them widely?

Complaints about fragility and flavor of the wrapper are about the tortilla. Solve the tortilla problem, and the wrap problem goes away.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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I'm not alone! My husband eats them all the time, and I can't stand them, for all the above cited reasons. I've got a thing against lettuce in hot sandwiches, for starters, because there's nothing appealing about warm shredded lettuce, all wet, goopy and wilted. Wraps, as far as I've seen, are one of the biggest hot lettuce culprits.

I have had a few good wraps, though. Very rare, maybe two, total in my whole life... One was a buffalo burger in wrap form, with black beans, burritoish condiments and mixed greens...it was fantastic, almost a burrito, which was probably why it was good. Another was this ham, turkey, and brie wrap, with a garlic aoli, avocado, and sprouts. It was well assembled, and well excecuted, no lettuce or tomatos to make it messy.

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Agree 100%. Wraps are an abomination. Was there a problem with bread?

I keep hoping that this trend will die out, but so far there are no signs of that.

Could it be that, unlike bread, the tortillas don't go stale as quickly? Is this why people keep pushing them?

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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I work at an old-school Italian deli in Jersey - salame & prosciutto hanging from a rack, platters of roasted peppers & sun-dried tomatoes & artichokes etc. on the counter, selection of fresh-baked breads prominently displayed in glass-front shelves, big board describing the various permutations of sandwich available, the guy behind the counter clearly born in Bari.

And yet, almost every day, somebody will walk in & blithely ask, "Hey, you got wraps?"

Unfathomable on so many levels, not the least of which is how, faced with all of this deliciousness, someone could actually PREFER a wrap.

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I guess I've never seen or tasted anything such as you're describing, so I'm afraid I have no idea what it is you're attempting to ban. Who exactly is selling these and why can't you just not buy them?

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Because I object to them on a deep philosophical level and would therefore like to see them eradicated from the universe. And because I've found them impossible to avoid. If I go to a picnic, corporate event, etc., they're always serving those damn wraps.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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FatGuy?

I can feel your inner Sam Kinison on this subject! lol

I must say Ive given the wrap bread itself numerous chances, and all the times Ive tried it, it always has that same bitterish chemically nasty aftertaste.

What is that?

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I guess I've never seen or tasted anything such as you're describing, so I'm afraid I have no idea what it is you're attempting to ban. Who exactly is selling these and why can't you just not buy them?

I don't know where you live but they are found in all the major super market deli's in California.

They're usually made with flour tortillas which are sometimes flavored with spinach or tomato. Then they are spread with mayonnaise, thin slices of rubbery turkey, lettuce, etc. At least that seems to be the norm around here.

I have a cook book titled "Wrap it Up". It has many recipes for them wrapped in tortillas, lavash, pita breads, and so forth. I've had the book for about 10 years and havae never used any of the recipes even though some of the fillings sound quite tasty.

Somehow just the thought of wrapping it up turns me off. Last time I ate one at a party I nearly gagged.

Funny in a way because I love Mu Shu pork, Vietnamese rice paper rolls, and burritos filled with chorizo and potatoes.

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It's the foul taste of failure and hatred!

HAHAHAHAHA!!!

BTW the traditional "WRAP BREAD" is not the same (IMO) as a Flour Tortilla.

The Flour Tortilla doesnt have that bad aftertaste, the bread thats marked "WRAP or WRAPS" has a bad aftertaste. I bought this Wrap Bread:

http://www.flatoutbread.com/movie.html

and it had the worst aftertaste of all of them.

However I do LOVE the Spicy Chicken Wrap from Chik-Fil-A.

And the Chicken Pitas from Kenny Rogers were yummy.

Edited by GlorifiedRice (log)

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I don't know where you live but they are found in all the major super market deli's in California.

They're usually made with flour tortillas which are sometimes flavored with spinach or tomato. Then they are spread with mayonnaise, thin slices of rubbery turkey, lettuce, etc. At least that seems to be the norm around here.

I live in San Francisco and I've never seen anything like that unless it was on a KFC billboard. I did once eat at some kind of "wrap" place in Seattle many years ago, and while I did not enjoy the food there (tasted like lawn clippings), it bore no resemblance to anything you're describing. Guess I'd need to spend more time at chain stores and corporate events in order to get appropriately angry at things I'd never eat anyway, but for the time being, anything that comes wrapped up in a tortilla or hunk of lavash in my neighborhood is usually pretty good and completely mayo-free.

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