We've all been there. You've meticulously planned what you want in your wrap of heaven. You've stood in line practicing your order over and over in your head until the time comes to calmly relay it to the server, while on the inside you're screaming like a little girl. Finally, that cheese-filled tortilla goodness is handed over to you like a delicate newborn child – Jesus Christ, it might as well be a child it's so damn big. How the hell are you supposed to eat this thing and still look human? There's a cute boy sitting in the corner and you'd really prefer it if he didn't think you're part Tyrannosaurus Rex. At the same time, you can't wait to shovel that thing in your mouth like you know you can. It's a real dilemma. As an avid burrito-eater, I'm here to help.
Mastering the art of burrito eating requires several steps. First, take note of whom you're with. Does it even matter if half the burrito ends up on the outside of your mouth? Are you currently at an event, or going to an event after, in which a bean-and-cheese covered shirt would be socially unacceptable? Or are you just having a movie night with a group of close friends? Recollect what you learned in your sixth grade science class and observe your surroundings. If you find you aren't in an environment that allows you to be a pig, keep reading.
Size does matter. That is, what you put in your burrito affects its tightness and floppiness, two key factors in whether or not you'll be successful at the end of this process. Here's a nifty acronym to get you through this step: G.R.O.S.S., or "Get Rid Of Several Sauces." It's simple: a lot of sauces mean nothing but a sloppy, gooey mess. If you order a burrito with nothing but refried beans, sour cream, olive oil (yes, that's a thing), salsa, and guacamole, you're asking for a mess. You want a good ratio of solid items to soupy items. If you must have sour cream, olive oil, salsa, and guacamole, so be it, but supplement those with cooked items such as chicken, beef, rice – anything that won't drip through your fingers if you try to pick it up.
After what feels like years, you're finally holding that foil-wrapped deliciousness in your hand – but slow down. Unwrapping the burrito properly is a crucial step, and takes some arithmetic on the consumer's part. You want to peel the foil off at about an inch-and-a-half to two inches at a time. Any more and it will sag over like a bag full of cottage cheese; any less and you'll get a mouthful of foil (with an extra-fun kick if you have fillings). That being said, if you're going too far to one side of the spectrum, it’s better to unwrap too little. If you unwrap too much, the burrito will start to unwrap itself, and only the most experienced eaters know how to handle that situation. Have you ever heard the saying, “Sexy is leaving a little something for the imagination”? That was definitely written about burritos.
Congratulations! It's unwrapped, and you're staring at the beautiful nakedness of your soon-to-be devoured burrito. You've reached the most enjoyable part of this whole process: eating. I can't stress enough how important technique is here. For your first bite, approach the upper-left side of the bundle with your head at a precise 45˚ angle. Then, proceed like you read: left to right, top to bottom. No matter how unnatural it feels, fight against every fiber in your being to take small bites. Nobody wants to see your tonsils or the remnants from your previous bite. Plus, smaller bites are easier to chew and won't leave any spots on the burrito vulnerable to sauces and meats dribbling out. Continue eating like this, taking petite bites in a neat and orderly fashion down the burrito. For every three bites you take, unwrap the burrito an inch or so more. Also be sure to occasionally take your eyes off the burrito to pretend to take an interest in what others are saying. We all know that the burrito is the only thing you give a damn about, but you don't want to look like a lion stalking her prey.
Oh, shit. There it is. No matter how hard you've tried to avoid this, a piece of salsa-soaked beef just splattered onto your blouse. You didn't plan on this, but that's life. You’re now in full-on recovery mode. Deep breath – but not too deep. You don't want it to roll down any farther. Stay very still and discreetly hold the burrito in front of the meat disaster. Good, you're on the right path. Take slow breaths, and don't make any sudden movements. For starters, do not pull the whole, "Are you effing kidding me?!" move. This draws unwanted attention and snickers from fellow eaters. Instead, while holding the burrito in one hand, use your other hand to wipe your mouth with a napkin and casually snatch the nuisance off your clothing as you draw the napkin away. I should add that it helps to be ambidextrous. Of course, you still have the issue of the stain on your shirt. Were you resourceful enough to bring a Tide-to-Go stick with you? If so, great, you're really on top of things. If not, no worries! Excuse yourself to the bathroom and dab at the stain with a wet paper towel. Key word: dab. Do not rub. That will only make matters worse. If you’re lucky enough to have one of those hand dryers available as well, dry your shirt under it post-dabbing. But throughout your visit to the bathroom, make sure you're keeping an eye on the time. You don't want people to think you're doing stuff in there that you aren't.
I sincerely hope this guide has been of some use to you, and you'll now walk into a burrito shop with a newfound sense of confidence you never thought you'd have.