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Calls: Which Enchilada Shape Is Most Delicious?

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Aug 31, 2015

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player or iTunes/Podcasts app. (And please subscribe!)

Jane and Ricky are fellow graduate students at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. But when they started talking about making enchiladas, they discovered that they're on opposite sides of a long simmering, regional enchilada conflict that pits flat (lasagna style) enchiladas against their rolled brethren.

"As a native Texan, I had never seen a flat enchilada," Jane says, who prefers rolled enchiladas.

"I think she’s just ignorant to the fact that flat is better," Ricky, a native New Mexican, counters.

They called into The Sporkful for help resolving their fierce debate before it destroys Enchilada Night forever.


As a native New Jerseyan, I'm no expert in regional variations in enchiladas. (A quick Google search reveals that flat enchiladas are sometimes called "West Texas" or "Sonoran" enchiladas.)

But this debate isn't about which enchilada is more "authentic". It's about which one is more delicious. 

Ricky argues that besides being easier to make, flat enchiladas (below) are better because they enhance the tortilla's crunch and allow for a better cheese-to-tortilla ratio.

"With flat [enchiladas] you can fry the tortilla before [you bake it] and it makes it a little crispier," she says. "Also, you can put more cheese and your ratio is just a lot better."


But Jane points out that rolled enchiladas have a distinct advantage -- a quality that's woefully absent from far too many enchiladas: bite variety.

"When you eat a rolled enchilada, you can get this variation in your bites as you move along the enchilada," she observes. "So that first bite on the end is more tortilla [with] more sauce on the side. But as you move [into the enchilada] you get more and more filling."

Clearly, these are strong arguments. Bite variety and crunch are both appealing qualities in an enchilada. And that makes me wonder: What if there were a hybrid enchilada that combined the two?

Well, Eaters, I've got an idea for an enchilada that combines the best qualities of both flat and rolled enchiladas. Listen in to the episode to hear how to make this Franken-chilada.


And we'll reveal what happens when Jane and Ricky compete head-to-head in their Enchilada Face-Off, with their friends voting to determine which type is better.

It's Enchilada-ocracy in action -- complete with allegations of misappropriation of sour cream.

Do you have a food grievance that needs airing? An innovation to share with the world? A debate that needs settling? I want to hear from you. Drop me a line at Dan [at] Sporkful [dot] Com, and you could hear yourself in an upcoming episode.

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player or iTunes/Podcasts app. (And please subscribe!)

Connect with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook!

Interstitial music in this episode by BWN Music:

- "Hip Hop Slidester" by Steve Pierson

- "Scrambloid" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

- "Fresh Air" by Erick Anderson

Photos: courtesy of Jane H.; FlickrCC/Kelly Garbato; FlickrCC/John Benson

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