He also called it a “colostomy pie.” But now Anthony Bourdain has sort of apologized for some of his comments on an episode of CNN’s Parts Unknown after insulting the “World Famous” Frito pies served up at Santa Fe's Five & Dime General Store’s snack bar in New Mexico.
In the episode, he described the dish as canned Hormel chili covered in a “‘day-glow orange cheese-like substance.” And then he further insulted New Mexicans by telling them that the Frito pie should be left to their neighbors: "New Mexico, you have many wonderful things," Bourdain said. "I think, let Texas have this one."
But Mike Collins, manager of the Five & Dime General Store, has responded to the Hormel accusation, clarifying that their chili is homemade and contains fresh chile grown in New Mexico. The store’s spokeswoman Karen Reynolds also told the Associated Press that Bourdain enjoyed the pie, even though the episode did not present it that way. Bourdain confirmed this in a statement:
"Contrary to the impression left by some reports of the show, I, in fact, very much enjoyed my Frito pie in spite of its disturbing weight in the hand. It may have felt like (expletive) but was shockingly tasty.”
Well, some people swear by the Frito pie. While I can appreciate the years of dedication and culinary training it must have taken to be able to fill a bag of chips with chile and low-grade cheese, I'd much rather save five bucks and undertake the Herculean task myself. Just like with their inedible stock, they are really just dishing out cheap garbage at high prices for a captive tourist clientele.
Here’s Bourdain’s segment on CNN: