Florida has its key lime pie, Idaho its potatoes and Georgia favors grits as its official state food. Arizona, hungry to lay claim to a state food of its own, is circling the chimichanga.
There is a fierce rivalry here over who exactly dropped the first burrito into a vat of hot oil and thus invented the chimichanga. But evidence supports the contention that the first mouth to savor the fried concoction, and the first stomach to churn in torment from it, may well have been that of an Arizonan.
There is little doubt that chimichangas have become hugely popular here, so much so that a movement is under way to make the chimi the state’s official food. With Arizona’s centennial coming next year, Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen, a Phoenix chain, has started a petition drive to lobby the Legislature to officially adopt the chimichanga, as lawmakers have done for the bolo tie (official neckwear), the saguaro blossom (official flower) and the Colt revolver (official firearm).