Chipotle's Literary Cups Could Use Some Better, Foodie-er Quotes


Surely by now you've heard about the fast food literature project heard 'round the world — Chipotle is putting authors' works on its cups and bags — and maybe chuckled a little at its bright-eyed optimism. Don't get me wrong: I like it. As a writer-ish person myself, I think all publicity for quality creative writing is good publicity, and if the burrito-eaters of the world are about to be collectively introduced to Toni Morrison's Nobel swagger because of this project, then that's great.

But we can all admit that it's a little weird, right? Jonathan Safran Foer, the mastermind behind the project, is famous for writing a book about not eating animals, so why he's hitching his wagon to the meat-laden Chipotle star is a bit confusing. (Probable answer: money. And hey, no judgement there.) Toni Morrison seems way too legitimate to have her work printed on paper soda cups that'll be tossed into the garbage along with burrito bowl scrapings, and as Salon pointed out, George Saunders has "spent his career writing about sensitive artistic types crushed by corporatocracy, so his doing [the Chipotle project] is a little ironic."

For me, the weirdest thing is the prose: it's got nothing to do with burritos. Not that Morrison spends a lot of time writing about the glories of the Chipotle salsa verde, but do we need to read about blood while we're chowing down on tomato-red pico de gallo? Observe this opening sentence from Morrison's Chipotle cup:

Beautifully written, but wildly unappetizing. The following savory quotes would have made much more sense on a Chipotle cup. They may not mention burritos by name, but they'll definitely get you thinking about dinner.

1. Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

2. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

4. Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales

5. Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

6. Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

7. Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

I will marry you if you promise not to make me eat eggplant.

8. Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse

9. Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar