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Saturday, June 3, 2023

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CultureFood & DrinkGood Taste: Sampling E-40’s Turf Burritos

Good Taste: Sampling E-40’s Turf Burritos

The rapper and food/beverage entrepreneur made fancy versions of a 7-11 snack for hustlers. Are they worth seeking out?

You may have heard that E-40 got into the wine and spirits business real tough over seven years ago. The Vallejo rapper born Earl Stevens, who had a line cook job at a fancy Contra Costa County restaurant as a teenager, has since expanded further into food by joining as a partner in The Lumpia Company and launching his own wholesale food business called Goon With The Spoon.

The first Goon With The Spoon products available at various Bay Area stores through Gold Rush Distribution are ice cream pints (including a challenging chicken & waffles flavor), sausages, and Turf Burritos, an upgraded take on the frozen burritos that he used to favor when he was out working back in the day.

The Goon website sells the full product line in bulk, which is how I came to be in possession of a dozen Turf Burritos. I’ve interviewed E-40 many times over the years and I think the world of him as a person, an artist, and a businessman, but I still wasn’t sure if that was actually a good idea to have that many of these giant beef parcels in my freezer.

The backside message on E-40’s Turf Burritos

After tasting both varieties (red chili and green chili, both with beef and beans), the final opinion is that it was a sound purchase, because they are actually good! It’s also been really fun to sprinkle them as gifts amongst friends who like E-40, so I am not eating a dozen by myself. 

If you grew up with frozen burritos in your life, but maybe haven’t had one in a good minute—which would probably be a common scenario in the Bay Area, where fresh and glorious burritos abound—this offers some happy nostalgia, but with better ingredients. The red chili has a kick that may warm up your eyeballs for a minute, which is a sensation I enjoy. The beef is more flavorful and distinguishable there than in the green chili, which is very mild and tastes like it is more proportionally made from beans, though that’s unlikely.

One mistake I made on the first day of trying Turf Burritos was to sample half of each flavor, and then go back in for a third half of my favorite, which is the Red Chili. Don’t do that, just eat one at a time — they’re quite big anyway, and eating more than one at once might tip you over sideways.

Keep the food party going at Tamara’s site California Eating.

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