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Proposed (by me) ban on wraps


Fat Guy
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Dr. Teeth, I don't buy wraps.  I make them.  I know what goes inside them, and there's no bland filler in mine.  What you may get from a caterer (loaded with mayonnaise, etc.) or in an airport sandwich shop is another story -- in which case I agree that they're often the Devil's spawn.

I understand that you are earnest in what you are telling me. I worry that you are in too deep and that you have lost some ability to judge your situation honestly, that you are lying to yourself.

Let me be scientific. It has been shown that some survival skills still present in animals have died in humans. For example, infant children have no fear of snakes, where a newborn chimpanzee reacts to it as a source of danger. I just watched a number of senior physicians, educated men of learning, eat a wrap lunch catered by Souper Salad. On the other hand, I am sure somewhere out there, in the vastness of the internet, there is a video of a band of baboons bypassing a platter of wraps in favor of eating an amuse bouche of hyena dung.

Edited by Dr. Teeth (log)
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Oh, I'm sorry.  You're trying to be clever and amusing.  I thought maybe this was a real discussion.  Carry on.  :rolleyes:

I'm sorry to make fun of such a serious issue. You are right. Compared to my other earnest comments on this subject my last post was flippant and juvenile.

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The only wrap I buy is from KFC. I buy the roasted chicken variety when I buy it and I actually do like it. The tort or whatever is not great but the fillings are tasty. But I buy the wrap for one specific reason. I spend way to much of my life behind the wheel getting from point a to point b and still need to get to point c before getting to point h (home). I prefer burritos when I can get them, but sometimes want a break, and I choose both of these food options because they allow me to eat while driving (and yes I am VERY careful about not being a distracted driver). I created a life for myself that I can't seem to extricate myself from at the moment and so when I am not able to be home to eat with my family I go for food that won't add to the time I am already away.

The flip side: I tried the wraps from Costco a couple of times and they are for me the definition of why Fat Guy probably started this thread. My guess, however, for the poor quality of American wraps in general is our national obsession, in day -to-day eating, with what something costs over what it tastes like. The advertising media do an incredible job of convincing us that the "Super-Mega-Burger with our special sauce" is gastonomic heaven for only $4.99 and since it's in print on on TV it must be true, hence this taste must be a good taste. Just my perspective...

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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How is a bad wrap any different from a bad sandwich?  Saying you dislike bland ingredients mixed with a gloppy sauce served in some flavorless starch package isn't exactly earth shattering.  What next?  Proclaiming that puppies are cute?

I'd bet that Sam can make a more delicious wrap than the best traditional sandwich any domestic airline has ever served in-flight.  To think that the American wrap is the worst offender of corporate/airline/lazy catering is a mistake.  The in-flight food prior to wraps being served was no better and since most airlines and caterers have stopped serving wraps, it hasn't improved any.  Focusing on the current garbage they produce just causes them to move on to the next culinary disaster - focusing on the poor quality of the ingredients and the careless preparation might actually make them consider serving something better...

I think it is the unavoidable turkey and unseasoned cream cheese.

Why, oh why?

Now, a breakfast burrito is just the ticket.

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I have to totally agree with phatj on this-go into pretty much any grocery store in the U.S. and you'll find loads of beautiful-looking sandwiches that TASTE LIKE CRAP because the bread's awful. Talk about chemical taste! Bread should have a handful of ingredients yet most commercial stuff has an ingredient list that reads like a chemistry exam. I'm not going to get on the wrap-bashing train when there are so many,many lame sandwiches around. Most of the kvetching seems to be directed at the wrapper itself-well, yeah! Tortillas suffer from the same problem as bread-too much artificial crap in them. I see nothing wrong with a well-constructed wrap made with a GOOD tortilla, and good luck finding THAT.

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During one of my Atkins diet attempts, I suffered through the low-carb whole-wheat or spinach "wraps", which tasted nasty, smelled nasty, and were not bread-like by any stretch of the imagination. But it was all I had to remind me of bread. And now, apparently the fad has worn off, and you can't even FIND the nasty things anymore.

If I'm making a wrap, it's with a homemade lavosh, not those nasty, overpriced tortillas on steroids.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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I think they appeal to the "healthy eating" phenomenon; but when the wraps are commonly the circumfrence of some crop circles, are they really that much lower in carbs than a couple modest slices of bread?

For me, they fail because there is no differentiation of flavour/texture. With a sandwich, you experience the flavours and textures in succession, often thought out before hand. With wraps, it's eating a homogenized 'baby food' version of the flavours. Instead of tasting, the crunch and saltiness of bacon, the richness of egg, the bright freshness of quality greens, and the warm gooeyness of a good cheese and acid/sweet of a summer tomato in a good BLT+egg sandwich (not to mention all the benefits of great bread), you taste eggaconeesegreemato mush.

So needless to say (I hope), I too despise the wrap.

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I think they appeal to the "healthy eating" phenomenon; but when the wraps are commonly the circumfrence of some crop circles, are they really that much lower in carbs than a couple modest slices of bread?

It would be typical for a large wrap -- the bread product itself -- to have 170 calories. A slice of standard commercial bread is usually around 80 calories. So there's no particular difference between a wrap and two slices of bread. Some wraps might be a little more or less, some slices of bread a little more or less, but the caloric difference is going to be slight pretty much no matter what. Carbs are also roughly equivalent -- there's nothing about a wrap that makes it have fewer carbs than a piece of bread. The bread is just leavened with yeast, which gives it more volume -- but leavening doesn't create carbs that weren't there in the flour to begin with. My impression based on looking at a bunch of packages is that wraps tend to have more fat than bread, though, presumably because they need a lot of oil to maintain their flexibility on the shelf.

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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:cool:

I've had the nasty layered nuggets you deplore at corporate lunches, FG, and I can't agree more that they don't belong on the same table with honest food.

That said -- I have wonderful fresh flour tortillas available to me from local tortillerias in Chicago, and cuddling one of those around some freshly roasted pork with the fixin's of one's choice makes for a lovely dinner. Add some fruit of the season and a good convivial glass or two, and I'm a happy lady. All that's needed is to treat the idea with the same respect we give real food, and no surprise...you get real, and good, food.

The notion that a wrap can sit, uncovered, for hours and still be edible is one of the problems here, for all I can see...just another predictable failure of the 'you get what you pay for' variety, when corners are cut and quality goes fluttering sadly out the window.

:cool:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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I wouldn't go so far as to ban them -- they're a great genetic marker. If this place has wraps, I don't need to eat here. They do show up at office lunches with distressing frequency, though, meaning that you need to make the ethical choice between eating crap because it's free or not eating it ...

If you have a coupon for it, you don't want it.

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I think they appeal to the "healthy eating" phenomenon; but when the wraps are commonly the circumfrence of some crop circles, are they really that much lower in carbs than a couple modest slices of bread?

It would be typical for a large wrap -- the bread product itself -- to have 170 calories. A slice of standard commercial bread is usually around 80 calories.

Mission is a common brand in NYC supermarkets. Their 12-inch wrap tortilla has between 310 and 330 calories, depending on what kind it is. Their "reduced carb" 12-inch tortilla is 270 calories. Their 12-inch "stretched style" flour tortilla is 240 calories. I was shocked at how caloric they were compared to bread.

Now, there's some question in my mind as to whether it's reasable to compare the caloric value of a 12-inch wrap with two slices of bread. A wrap isn't usually substituting for something that small. You could never fit the amount of filling between two slices of rye bread that you can fit into a 12-inch wrap. Really, we should be comparing them to "hero" rolls.

--

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The Thomas' Sahara ones have 170 calories, but they're not 12". Probably more like 8" -- I'd have to measure.

With bread, it pretty much comes down to weight. A good rule of thumb is 80 calories per ounce. It doesn't matter how fluffy or flat it is -- it can be a cracker or it can be a hamburger bun -- it's still going to be around 80 calories per ounce unless it's manipulated in some way or another (still, many low-carb/low-calorie bread products achieve their reduction in calories and carbs by increasing gluten and therefore leavening so as to have less weight per piece).

So I guess a 12" wrap Mission wrap is weighing in at about 4 ounces. Standard supermarket bread is about 1 ounce per slice, so it's the equivalent of 4 slices of bread. I wonder how much sandwich stuffing can go into two sandwiches, versus a wrap. Hero rolls vary widely in weight, but I think a medium-size one is probably about 4-5 ounces.

When I used to pack lunch for work, during the phases when I was trying to limit calories, I was a big fan of packing a salad (with lots of veggies and some meat and cheese) in a Rubbermaid or equivalent container (with a separate container for dressing) and having a couple of small rolls on the side. I also made a lot of pita sandwiches. I never got into wraps, though. Even the best tortillas, when cold, don't really appeal to me. Not that I ever lost any weight.

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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The 310 calorie Mission 12-inch "chili-herb wrap" weighs in at 104 grams, or 3.67 ounces. That's about 84.5 calories per ounce.

The 170 calorie Thomas's Sahara wraps weigh only 59 grams, or 2.08 ounces. That's about 81.7 valories per ounce. No idea on size, but they've got to be considerably smaller.

--

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I completely agree that cold (and even some hot) commercially prepared wraps filled with sandwich fillings or a fusion of several different culture's ingredients are culinary abominations. I don't which is worse - the horrible faux tortilla wrapper or the mixture of (oftentimes) poor quality ingredients.

Someone mentioned a similarity to those horrible rolled pinwheel sandwich things made of doughy flatbread, rubbery & stringy roast beef, limp squishy lettuce and un-ripe, slimy tomatoes. I've got this theory that the same folks who commercialized the pinwheels saw their fad losing it's popularity and came up with wraps as a substitute fad?? :biggrin:

Anyways - a burrito or burrito-esque food made with a good quality, heated flour tortilla wrapped around fresh ingredients can surely be one of the most delicious quick foods. As Fat Guy wrote earlier, this kind of burrito is not the "wrap" he was referring to when he started this thread.

Add my name to the list banning Wraps.

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Tortillas amazingly enough aren't the only flat bread in the world.  Lavash makes a much better wrapper.

I shop, here in Southern California, at Ralphs as owned by Kroger. Where would I find Lavash? I know where to find pita (but try to get to Trader Joe's for that).

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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Tortillas amazingly enough aren't the only flat bread in the world.  Lavash makes a much better wrapper.

I shop, here in Southern California, at Ralphs as owned by Kroger. Where would I find Lavash? I know where to find pita (but try to get to Trader Joe's for that).

I don't know where in SoCal you can find Lavash - any middle-eastern market should have it. Trader Joes may as well. I get mine at the International Food Bazaar in San Jose or at Parkside Market in SF.

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I had a most delicious wrap for lunch today...roast beef, smoked mozzarella, and yes, lettuce and tomato, but lovely crispy lettuce and fresh sweet tomato, with a little salt and pepper... Mmmm.

I think all of you who don't like wraps should eat the damned panini (which I despise) and leave more for those of us who do like them. :raz::raz:

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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I had a most delicious wrap for lunch today...roast beef, smoked mozzarella, and yes, lettuce and tomato, but lovely crispy lettuce and fresh sweet tomato, with a little salt and pepper...  Mmmm.

I think all of you who don't like wraps should eat the damned panini (which I despise) and leave more for those of us who do like them.  :raz:  :raz:

I'm with ya on the panini...

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