What’s amusing about this kerfuffle is that the chimichanga is the Mexican-food equivalent of chop suey, which is a dish invented in San Francisco, and no one in China had ever heard of. It’s not from south of the border, but originated in Tucson, at the best restaurant in town when it comes to Tucsonian cuisine. And most places in other locales don’t really know how to do it, often adding beans or rice, making it a mere fried burrito. It’s best filled with carne seca, an El Charro specialty that is also not widely available. The other things that are local to southern Arizona, but hasn’t made it much farther is a cheese crisp (flour tortilla topped with monterey jack and broiled open face to melt it, with or without jalapenos, then sliced and served like a pizza) and green-corn tamales. I was eating them in the seventies when I lived in Tucson, working for the L-5 Society, before most people had ever heard of them.
[Update a few minutes later]
I see that Prudence Paine is amused at the ignorance as well. Though I take issue with her denigration of them. They are excellent, and better than most Mexican dishes, in my opinion. I suspect her antipathy toward them is based on a misplaced fear of fat. When I used to eat them in Tucson, they were fried in lard, and that’s actually much healthier than low-fat, or vegetable oils. The bad thing about them is the flour tortilla itself, not the fact that it’s fried.