Chipotle Cup Copy: A Lesson in Limes

by Andrea Enright on July 28, 2011

Category: Messaging

The History: We all know a little about  Chipotle as this point. They dangle their feet off the cutting edge . Their “We roll our own. . . . .Love this joint” billboard just might have inspired some of the early medicinal marijuana shops and they serve up tasty burritos. So you can imagine what they wanted.

The Chipotle Challenge: By weaving pop culture puns, a conversational style and coy copy into these historical vignettes on their ingredients, I maintained Chipotle’s irreverent, but quality-focused identity. These were printed on drinking cups in burrito joins across the country.

A Lesson in Limes
We juice a lot of limes at Chipotle. They add a delicious, subtle citrus tang to our
cilantro-lime rice, as well as a wonderful zing to our tortilla chips, which are always
lime-juice-drizzled before getting a sprinkle of Kosher salt.

But we’ve never seen a lime seed and it got us wondering why not. So we did a little

Here’s the squeeze: according to the Florida Department of Citrus, limes actually do have
seeds, but they are so small you can’t usually see them. Limes are picked and consumed
before they mature, and therefore have underdeveloped seeds.

Now you know. And knowing is half the burrito.

Iceberg Straight Ahead!
Just Kidding. There are no Iceberg sightings at Chipotle. Iceberg lettuce that is.Instead we use freshly shredded, green-with-that-little-bit-of-aubergine romaine–the preferred lettuce for many chefs who eschew the practically flavorless, but widely popular iceberg– in our burritos and tacos.

Once thought to have a medicinal value, romaine lettuce originated on the Aegean Island\of Cos and was served at the tables of Persian kings as early as 55 B.C.

And get this: Romaine’s dark green leaves are higher in Vitamin A than its morecommon crunchy cousin.

We’re not certain if romaine lettuce was served aboard the Titanic.

That’s Amore! Er, Cilantro

Cilantro is sacred at Chipotle. We use it fresh from the fields of California (and, in thewintertime, Arizona, which has a longer growing season) hand-plucking the leaves thenfinely chopping it for use in our signature cilantro-lime rice, made in each restaurant daily.

But did you know that cilantro has captured hearts, minds and palates since ancienttimes?

The Chinese believed it could bestow immortality and in the Middle Ages it was used in love potions.

That old cilantro magic may still be at work; our rice has been known to bestow anundying love for our burritos.

See? All you really need is love. Er, Chipotle.

We Admit It. We’re Salt Snobs.

What makes the sea more than just a great big lake? Salt.

What makes our chips more than just fried corn tortillas? Kosher salt.

Called kosher because its coarse grains make it suitable for meat preparation according to Jewish dietary laws, additive-free kosher salt is also used by many gourmet chefs (likeours) who prefer its lighter flakier texture and cleaner, less bitter flavor to traditional table salt.

Each day at Chipotle, we juice limes into our hot freshly made chips before salting themto help those primo grains stick better.

We don’t mean to be salt snobs. But anything else just wouldn’t be kosher.

Berry. Jam Berry.

You’ve heard of tomatillo, right? The main ingredient in our red hot and medium greensalsa? Well, though equally strange sounding, at least this one is easier to say.

In fact, the infamous Jamberry is actually another name for the tongue-twisting tomatillo.

Other aliases include: The Mexican green tomato, the strawberry tomato, or the husktomato.

Like another famous J.B., it’s also a master of disguise. Our hot tomatillo-based salsasgets its red color – and its heat—from de arbol chilies. But even deceptively mild-looking green tomatillo-based salsas (like our medium roasted chili-corn salsa) can cleverly camouflage scorching peppers.

What can we say? Our burritos are full of hotties!

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