It’s a question as old as time — Is adding pineapple to a savoury dish ever acceptable?
Pineapple pizza, pineapple rings in burgers, even pineapple diced in fried rice.
It’s a contentious fruit that almost every culture has attempted to add to their cuisine.
People have very strong views on where this prickly fruit belongs, so anything that tests the theory is bound to blow up in the court of public appeal.
But Mexican fast-food chain Mad Mex has thrown caution to the wind this week, launching a tropical addition for customers to add to their burrito, or main meal, of choice.
Correct, it’s pineapple.
In the lead-up to World Pineapple Day — which falls on June 27 — Mad Mex has released its first pineapple burrito, a controversial choice that is already being hotly debated online.
The limited-edition tropical addition came after National Burrito Day, in April, when the chain asked its customers what they’d like to add to a burrito.
Allegedly, the majority of customers said their choice would be pineapple.
And while it’s not a traditional ingredient in burritos, Mexico is the leading producer of pineapples across the globe.
Mad Mex CEO Clovis Young said he was prepared for the public backlash but wanted to help answer the question of whether pineapple should be a staple in Mexican food.
“Whilst some will call it sacrilege, we know there are a lot of pineapple fans out there,” he said.
“Some of them live in secret, and they’ve been waiting a long time for this day to come.”
Mr Young said the launch was designed to empower these closet pineapple lovers to indulge their passion “with a fun twist on traditional burritos”.
He said if the public reaction was favourable to the tropical fruit, it could soon be a staple on the Mad Mex menu.
‘KILL IT WITH FIRE’
The offer was posted on the Mad Mex Facebook page today, and the public had a lot to say about it.
Mex attracted hundreds of comments — both irate and ecstatic — from Aussies far and wide.
Many people claimed the fruit had “no place in a burrito”, arguing if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“Pineapple is evil. Kill it with fire,” one person seethed.
Another customer reasoned: “I’m all for pineapple on pizza, but this is just taking things too far.”
“Also I really want a burrito now.”
Don’t we all, mate.
DO YOU WANT PINEAPPLE WITH THAT?
Others reported Mad Mex employees had spent the day asking customers if they wanted a handful of fruit on their meal.
“No … I was asked today when I went to Mad Mex for lunch,” a frustrated customer wrote.
“Pineapple is evil. Kill it with fire,” another raged.
“What an odd ingredient, pineapple is only good for juicing and adding vodka.”
Now that’s a convincing argument.
But others were completely taken by the idea, claiming it was an absolute must on any food, anywhere, at any time.
“I had Pineapple in my Burrito today and it was absolutely delish,” one man said.
THE TASTE TEST
I adhere to a strict code in life: Never add sweet things to a traditionally savoury dish.
Slapping pineapple on a salty dish has always elicited a hard pass from me, but I must admit that I wasn’t totally repelled when I tucked into one of the chain’s chicken burritos today.
The burrito had a thin layer of crushed pineapple pieces wrapped into the classic grilled chicken, bean and rice combo.
It definitely wasn’t as sickly sweet as I was expecting and, much to my surprise, balanced the strength of the Mexican spiced chicken, creating a fresh burst of flavour.
While I am, by no means, a pineapple burrito convert, this old sceptic was surprised by a slick of sweetness in her burrito hole.
Give it a try and let me know what you think! Continue the conversation @Rhi_lani or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published as Controversial burrito angers fans