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Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

Sweet Earth Natural Foods Returns

The Peruvian Burrito and The Santa Cruz Burrito



Dr. Gourmet reviews The Peruvian Burrito from Sweet Earth Natural FoodsWe last reviewed burritos from Sweet Earth Natural Foods just over a year ago, with uniformly positive results. Well filled, tasty, with great numbers and unique flavors, we were hooked. A few months ago we reviewed their veggie burgers, which were not quite as well received (try the Teriyaki Burger, though).

From the company website we knew that there were burritos we hadn't tried, so for over a year now we've been on the lookout for them in hopes of a pleasant tasting session. (Can you blame us when some of the food we eat is so bad?) Shortly thereafter we ran across The Santa Cruz burrito at our local Winn-Dixie, but we really prefer to write about at least two items from a company. Fortunately The Peruvian Burrito popped up at our local Whole Foods a few days ago, so here we are.

Our tasting panel remembered The Kyoto Burrito and The Curry Tiger Burrito quite fondly, so they voted to taste The Peruvian Burrito first: a small panel on the label of this burrito says "Inca Inspired" and they were curious to see how this might play out. Last year we noted that the conventional oven instructions that had been on Sweet Earth Natural Foods' Breakfast Burritos had disappeared from the regular burritos' packaging. With The Peruvian Burrito they're back, and in case they disappear again, here they are: "Pre-heat oven to 350°, remove from pouch, wrap in foil and heat in oven for 50 minutes, turning burrito half-way through."

As usual, we chose to microwave our burritos, placing them on a plate, "loosely tent[ing]" them with a paper towel, and cooking for 1 minute per side. We were surprised to see the The Peruvian Burrito didn't split - as we mentioned in our review of Fit Wrapz, we don't like it but we can hardly hold it against the manufacturer when it seems to happen to everyone. The panel immediately noted that the tortilla didn't seem to become slimy or sticky (as they so often do), and after a minute or two of cooling we could actually pick this up to eat it.

As with all of Sweet Earth's burritos, there's a truly generous amount of filling here, with black beans, chia seeds, red quinoa, and yellow corn immediately obvious. Those chia seeds give the filling a satisfying crunch, while the diced sweet potato as well as the corn lends the filling a subtle sweetness. At first we couldn't quite identify the spices - there's a sense of sweet and spicy that reminds us of cinnamon but may well be roasted poblano. Similarly, what spiciness there is in this burrito comes on slowly but ends with a pleasant afterburn. This burrito was described variously by the panel as "a little one-note," "meaty yet crunchy," and "definitely interesting." (One panelist noted that the description on the package - "Rich & Earthy!" accurately captured the overall feel of the burrito.) How it's "Inca Inspired" other than containing quinoa, black beans, and sweet potatoes we still aren't sure, but the panel gave it a thumbs up. (340 calories, 640 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber)

Dr. Gourmet reviews The Santa Cruz Burrito from Sweet Earth Natural FoodsThe Santa Cruz Burrito was a real contrast to The Peruvian in almost every way. Microwaving this burrito resulting in a split all the way down the side of the burrito, spilling its contents onto the plate. The panel gave a collective shrug and dug in with knives and forks, noting the same generous amount of filling we've come to expect from Sweet Earth Natural Foods. This is a much more pedestrian burrito, and the panel insisted that I use that term for two reasons: first, in the sense of "usual" or "commonplace," and second in the sense of walking. "This is a straightforward pinto bean burrito with cheese, peppers, and onions," they said. "But it's a taco truck burrito," meaning, they explained, that they would walk across the street and down the block in the New Orleans heat to buy this burrito from the taco truck (hence the "pedestrian").

The flavors in this burrito are stereotypically South American in the best way, with the mouth-filling savor of the pinto beans, lots of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, Anaheim chilis, and onions, all extremely fresh and "very satisfying." "Melty goodness," it says on the packaging, and the panel agreed. (340 calories, 430 milligrams sodium, 8 grams of fiber!) Overall, we liked The Santa Cruz better than The Peruvian, but both would be good additions to your freezer.

Reviewed: August 5, 2016