Thursday, April 14, 2011
Legend has it that Monica Flin, of Tucsan, accidentally dropped a pastry into the deep fat fryer in 1922. She immediately began to utter a Spanish cuss word beginning "chi..." (chingada), but quickly stopped herself and instead exclaimed chimichanga, the Spanish equivalent of "thingamajig".
Given the variant chivichanga, mainly employed in Mexico, another derivation would have it that immigrants to the United States brought the dish with them, mainly through Nogales into Arizona. A third, and perhaps most likely possibility, is that the chimichanga, or chivichanga, has long been a part of local cuisine of the Pimería Alta of Arizona and Sonora, with its early range extending southward into Sinaloa.
In any case, it is all but uncontroversial that within the United States, knowledge and appreciation of the dish has been part of Santiagos menu from the beginning, and the cooks carefully prepare this dish from the choice grade of tender shredded beef, or you can opt for chicken, mixed with red chili sauteed with onion, tomato, and poblano chili wrapped in a flour tortilla. All of this is then placed in the deep fryer to be brought up golden brown, and served with Oaxacan cheese.