The Flight of the Bolinacho

Although Tijuana is already famous for Caesar salad, Clamato, and Tostilocos, a pitched battle over a newer introduction, the bolinacho, now appears to be over, with the city getting credit for introducing the concept to the United States. The bolinacho is a roll that is stuffed with cheese and pickled jalapeno peppers before it is baked. It can also contain rajas, or pickled onions, carrots, and jalapenos. Available in supermarkets through Baja and the rest of Mexico, it has joined the array of baked goods in grocery store delis throughout Southern

Its introduction has not been without the afore-mentioned naming controversy. A recent trip to a Southern
California Mexican grocery store resulted in a conversation that went something like this:

Food Historian: Are those bolinachos?
Food Service Clerk: What? What are bolinachos?
Food Historian: They are rolls with cheese and jalapeno peppers inside.
Mexican Customer: Bolinacho? Nacho is nacho cheese for use with chips. These are bolillos (rolls) with
cheese and jalapeno peppers inside.
Food Historian: So what do you call these (to the Food Service Clerk introducing them)
Food Service Clerk: We call them bolillos (rolls) with cheese and jalapeno.
Mexican Customer: Yes. They are not bolinachos.
Food Historian: So they are new, but they are not bolinachos.

A bolinacho with rajas

A bolinacho with rajas

A quick look at the deli service tag in several Mexican stores (see picture) definitively shows that they
are indeed called bolinachos- and have been for some time. So congratulations to Tijuana for naming another food product that is making its way across the United States.