As if Chipotle didn't have enough troubles—what with the rampant food poisoning outbreaks of last year and then Trump's threat to tax most of their supply of ingredients—now people are complaining that they are finding random, backyard leaves in their burritos and bowls.
— Kaitlyn Caplette (@kcaplette4) February 1, 2017
— bay leaf white boy (@matttschaefer) December 26, 2016
The thing is, though, the leaves are bay leaves. And, to make matters even crazier—this being the politically charged America of 2017—the online discussion of these well-intentioned bay leaves has taken on racial overtones.
A photo posted by Not Pagan/Wiccan (@brujeriaandfeminism) on Feb 12, 2017 at 7:19pm PST
People are tweeting—and we're paraphrasing here, but this is the gist of it: "Hey white people. Don't you fucking know what a bay leaf is?"
THIS MAKES ME VERY UPSET pic.twitter.com/lTkU3Q7Rr3
— Baby Barf (@shotacum) February 9, 2017
Evidently, some people—white or not—simply don't.
white people: hey chipotle there's a leaf in my burrito
A bay leaf, of course, is an aromatic leaf that can be used fresh or dried to flavor food. Also known as the laurus nobilis or lauraceae, bay leaves are used in the foods of many nations: Mexican food, Indian food, French food—just maybe not so much in your typical all-American packaged or fast food… hence, the lack of recognition and the association of that lack of recognition with white people.
white people eradicated entire populations for spices and yet the bay leaf remains a mystery pic.twitter.com/y9M9T0JzeW
— Goth Ms. Frizzle (@spookperson) February 9, 2017
Perhaps this can all be traced to one @MattSchaefer, aka Bay Leaf White Boy. Back in December, he tweeted: "This leaf was in my burrito @ChipotleTweets" Given his twitter handle and the fact that this is a pinned tweet, some began to suspect it was all a manipulative joke. Mama Bear (@QuitaWesley) tweeted, "Now I'm starting to think fools just doing this for attention."
— Thomas Hoefener (@T_Heffff) February 1, 2017
Still, soon after Bay Leaf White Boy's first post, the internet took the bait and ran with it. Some attributed Bay Leaf White Boy's ignorance to geographic issues; Rank the Truth tweeted, "Damn people up north don't know." Ramon Sazon, on the other hand, went for it: "White folk," he said.
— Miranda Lobus (@mlobusss_) December 19, 2016
Then a bunch more people purported to find leaves in their Chipotle too—and they really didn't seem to know what the hell the leaves were.
@missytoney_ That's a bay leaf used for seasoning. They can be bitter if eaten whole. Sorry we missed removing that. -Dre
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) December 12, 2016
— coop (@CooperDavidPosz) February 12, 2017
All we can say is, we're sorry, Chipotle—we understand it hasn't been the best of years for you. We hope you keep fighting the good fight. One bay leaf at a time.