For being the skinnest state in the union, Colorado sure knows how to eat like fat kids …
For being the skinniest state in this great union of ours, Colorado sure knows how to eat. In fact, not only do we know how to make the most delicious food in the solar system, we actually invented a hefty portion of it right here within the square borders of our state. Here are 11 insanely delicious examples of that to please your palate with while also infuriating your gluten-free dietician.
Before Colorado, burgers were just bland, circular pucks of ground beef, staring at you listlessly through a facade of drab buns. After Colorado, the burger became a cheeseburger, and the sun parted the clouds, and the children sang, and the birds chirped as Americans discovered that putting fat (cheese) on top of more fat (beef) tasted better than a thousand rainbows. The trademark for the name "Cheeseburger" was awarded in 1935 to Louis Ballast, who started slanging them at Denver's Humpty-Dumpty Drive-In … and the world hasn't been skinny since.
2. The Elvis "Fool's Gold" Sandwich
Story goes: Elvis the Pelvis stopped by the Colorado Mining Company for dinner as his tour bus passed through Denver, and decided to wine and dine on the restaurant's infamous "Fool's Gold" sandwich. At 8,000 calories per serving, the behemoth consisted — and still does to this day — of a hollowed-out loaf of sourdough bread, a jar of creamy peanut butter, a jar of grape jelly, and a pound of motherfuckin' bacon. We can feel our love handles expanding.
Elvis liked the sandwich so much, that on the night of February 1, 1976, he flew himself and 22 of his closest friends from Graceland to the Colorado Mining Company in Denver just for the sake of the sandwich. The group stayed there for three hours, drinking Perrier and champagne and consuming more calories than an obese whale, before hopping back on the jet and flying home. After that, The King would periodically have a Fool's Gold sandwich flown to him whenever he felt like he wasn't already fat enough.
3. Celestial Seasonings Tea
Finally, something on this list that won't contribute to your eventual need for a quadruple bypass: Celestial Seasonings tea. The Boulder-based company began way back in 1969 when a trio of entrepreneurial hippies began collecting herbs and flowers in the Rocky Mountains and selling them to local health food stores. The business took off, largely thanks to their signature Red Zinger, and the company was eventually purchased by Kraft in the '80s before being resold to local tea enthusiasts.
A mainstay in the pantries of every home, office building, dildo store and prison in the country, Celestial Seasonings accounts for over $100,000,000 in US tea sales and serves over 1.6 billion cups of tea annually. If the tea business was high school, Celestial Seasonings would be the popular trustafarian who has really legit house parties when Daddy's out of town and Mommy got into the Seroquel.
4. Rudi's Bakery
Speaking of Celestial Seasonings, the Hain-Celestial Group just bought Rudi's Organic Bakery, making the bread-makers the latest cog in Colorado's ever-expanding crusade for health-food world domination. Rudi's began in 1976 in Boulder, and, being from Boulder, was named after a spiritual leader. Soon, Rudi's had a rep for having the most nutritious, flavorful, preservative-free breads, rolls and buns in all the land, and they even expanded into the kosher, organic, and non-GMO arenas — crushing the competition with their ability to make things taste good without ingredients that end in benzopropyloxinate 43. Throughout the years, Rudi's has become a leader in organic and gluten-free bread, and is probably currently in the esophagus of anyone who's "on a cleanse."
Chocolate is a natural aphrodisiac, so it's only natural that you'd pair it with a romantic love poem, which is exactly what Boulder-based chocolatier Chocolove does. Inside the packaging of every Chocolove bar is a saccharine poem that you can read to yourself as you slowly, but surely, devour the entire thing like it was the last piece of food on earth. And while it's more satiating to the palate than it is to the genitials, we have to say that their Chili & Cherries in Dark Chocolate bar comes pretty close to gustatory orgasm.
On a less arousing note, Chocolove was actually the first US company to start indicating cocoa content on their packaging, which changed the game for chocolate lovers who could finally tell whether they were getting quality chocolate or some Halloween candy shit in disguise. Today, you can find Chocolove anywhere that has four walls, so virtually everywhere, because it's fucking delicious.
As a native Coloradan, one of the first things you learn when developing language skills as a toddler is that Coors is made in Colorado. The production of it began in 1873, when German immigrants Adolph Coors and Jacob Schueler established a brewery in Golden Colorado, after buying a recipe for a Pilsner-style beer from a Czech immigrant, using mountain spring water to balance out the yeasty flavor. One hundred and fourty-something years later, it's the third-largest brewer in the US, and the seventh in the world, and a staple in the wizard's staff of any true American.
7. Noosa Yogurt
Admit it; you love Noosa. You get all excited and shit when you see they sell it by the quart at coffee stops. A little shiver shimmers down your spine when you think how much fun you'll have putting granola in it. Well, let us put a halt to that, because we have to tell you something.
Noosa is Australian. Now now, stop crying, and listen. It's named after a town called Noosa where, according to their website, there are "sleepy koalas." We weren't doing you any favors by keeping that information from you.
We mean, yeah it's made in Colorado, from milk that came from a dairy in Bellevue, local honey, and all sorts of local, organic fruit, but … it's still inspired by delicious koalas.
Quiznos was founded in 1981 in Denver, and rapidly gained traction thanks to their toasted subs, a cuisine unheard of in Colorado at the time. Today, it's the second-largest fast food sandwich chain in America, second only to Subway. Probably the only reason it's not the first is this:
9. Justin's Nut Butters
It's ironic that a company with the worst name of all time has such delicious products, but then again, stranger things have happened. In addition to nut butters, these Justin people make insanely good peanut butter cups with white, dark, and milk chocolate. They've been awarded all sorts of "cleanest food" awards, which really makes eating eight of their peanut butter cups less devastating. They're also one of the fastest growing companies in the US, a fact that makes us want to nut all over the place, and then punch ourselves for thinking of that sentence. They're um … based in Boulder.
10. Shredded Wheat
In 1890, Henry Perky invented a machine to produce America's first shredded wheat in his downtown Denver factory, and you grandparents have been force-feeding it to you ever since, claiming it's "good for your adolescent colon." Today, shredded wheat is the main component in Wheaties, which everyone knows is the breakfast of champions, as well as a slew of other breakfast cereals you begrudgingly buy.
You bet your sweet ass we saved the best for last … that's right, the crown jewel of Colorado, the lukewarm temptress of the Rockies: Chipotle.
The burrito company itself has a pretty interesting history. Founded by Boulderite Steve Ells in 1993, the burrito angel-depot had 16 restaurants (all in Colorado) when McDonald's became a major investor in 1998. By the time McDonald's fully divested itself from Chipotle in 2006, the chain had grown to over 500 locations … in English, that means Chipotle basically had McDonald's grow the business for them. Like bosses.
They're also pioneers of the clean fast-food movement. Chipotle uses as many organic and local ingredients as it can, and uses more naturally-raised meat than any other restaurant chain. And although the average burrito contains enough calories for two meals and more than a Big Mac, Chipotle has also been cited by Health.com as one of the nation's healthiest fast food chains. So, if you get a burrito, just know you can't eat for the rest of the week, but it doesn't matter, because it's so goddamned delicious that any other food that enters your mouth subsequently just tastes like sadness.
God damn, you guys, Colorado is delicious. We haven't even mentioned all the mouthwatering edibles that have spring up since weed legalization, but hey, that's for another post. So for now, go gorge on a Chipotle burrito with a side of Coors and shredded wheat, and pat yourself on the perfectly muscled back for eating "local."