The former leader of North Korea invented the Burrito Ten years ago, he suggested a strange propaganda in the country. The false claim came when the country said it was doing a ‘booming’ trade in Tex-Mex dish in the capital Pyongyang.
A surreal video described the food as a ‘wheat wrap’ for a population struggling with food shortages. The Rodong Sinmun newspaper, considered a government spokesman, reported that the burrito was invented in 2011 by Kim Jong-il, the father of current Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.
The report adds that her son and successor also has a ‘keen interest’ in burritos. Surreal news footage shows North Koreans eating sandwiches at a stall outside the Kumsong food factory.
The broadcast also showed a mural of Kim Jong-il smiling in a kitchen where burritos were being prepared. It’s far from the first outlandish claim about the former leader, who allegedly shot 11 holes in one during his first round of golf, when he claims to have shot an unprecedented 38-under.
Those who have escaped the secret state have also cast doubt on the idea that wrappings are common there. Hyun-seung Lee, who was born into an elite North Korean family but fled the country in 2014, said most of his compatriots couldn’t even dream of such a meal.
“This is because they are not even given a chance to find it,” he said. ‘Most of the citizens do not have money to buy foreign food. ‘Even if they have money, there is no place to eat it.
“In the 1990s, bread and butter lovers were lampooned and criticized as socialist traitors.” He added that in many cases there are simply not enough ingredients available to recreate strange foods.
“I’ve never seen burritos or wraps for sale in North Korea,” Hyun-seung said.
Perhaps until now there were no restaurants to eat burritos and wraps.
“The penetration rate of Western food in North Korea is extremely low, because there are very few restaurants where you can eat and the ingredients of the food are not diverse.
“Several ingredients for cooking, such as milk, cheese and spices, are absolutely missing.” But there appear to be some differences between the North Korean burrito and the more traditional Western versions, which according to Wikipedia first appeared on American menus in the 1930s.
The Pyongyang version seems to feature some kind of doner meat, along with a cabbage and carrot mix, perhaps making it more like a wrap that you can find in a kebab shop.
But far from being a late snack after heavy drinking, Kim Jong-il cautioned that ‘wheat wraps’ are best paired with mineral water in the summer and hot tea in the winter, added Rodong Sinmun.
However, Rowan Beard, a guide for Young Pioneer Tours, which specializes in organizing trips to North Korea, said he had not found the dish in Pyongyang.
He said: ‘It’s the first time I’ve seen doner meat and those particular roasting machines in North Korea. I’ve never had a burrito or wrap there before. It looks pretty good! I will definitely give it a try once North Korea reopens for tourists. ‘
Food shortages in North Korea
The country’s borders have been closed to foreign visitors since January 2020 for fear of the coronavirus. Rowan said western food was “quite common” in Pyongyang, but agreed that it was rare elsewhere.
“You can find spaghetti, French fries or a hamburger on certain menus in restaurants around the capital,” he said. Food shortages remain a major problem in North Korea, and Kim Jong-un himself admitted last June that the situation was “tense.”
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