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How the traditional Sunday roast became a street food sensation

London’s Yorkshire Burrito stuffs the time-honored English dinner in a wrap

Biting into a Yorkshire Burrito on Camden Road in London.
Biting into a Yorkshire Burrito on Camden Road in London.Manuel Vázquez
Xavi Sancho

In 2015, during the peak of street food’s popularity, food trucks and stands sprang up everywhere, offering the vibrant flavors of Hanoi, Mexico City and other far-flung countries. It was in this culinary climate that Henry Preem had a brilliant idea — transforming the quintessentially British Sunday roast into a portable delight to be consumed on-the-go. He carefully nestled the ingredients of a classic roast — succulent beef or chicken, potatoes and rich gravy — into a generous Yorkshire pudding wrap, reminiscent of a Mexican burrito.

Preem opened his first Yorkshire Burrito in Camden Market, a former music venue that burned down in 2008 and transformed into a global gastronomy festival with over 100 food stands. What was once a thriving marketplace for rock merchandise, T-shirts, pirated tapes and second-hand clothing is now dotted with wok, hamburger and waffle shops.

Yorkshire Burrito has 42,000 followers on Instagram and earlier this year, a video about Preem’s creation went viral on TikTok, catching the attention of Chinese online consumers and British media. Yorkshire Burrito has become so popular that it now sells burrito-themed merchandise on its website, including T-shirts featuring a design inspired by heavy metal band Metallica. Their iconic Master of Puppets album cover is now the “Master of Gravy,” paying homage to the sauce that liberally douses the Sunday roast burrito.

There are currently four Yorkshire Burrito stands in London. Two are in Camden Market, another in Wembley Boxpark, and one at 17 & Walthamstow Central, east of the city. In Camden alone, they sell close to 200 burritos a day at a hefty $14 each. You can choose from chicken, beef or cauliflower with cheese and leek sauce. Two cooks skillfully heat the Yorkshire pudding wrap, fill it with the chosen ingredients and roll it in record time. While it may appear sturdy at first, the Yorkshire Burrito becomes increasingly difficult to handle after the third bite. The wrap is thick and doesn’t bend easily, but hungry customers don’t seem to be deterred. When we visited Camden Market, the only food stand with a line was Yorkshire Burrito, even though its neighbors were selling Argentine empanadas and vegan burgers.

Ever since Queen Elizabeth II ordered sausage carts near her palace to move because the aroma invaded her bedroom, there has been no worthy representative of English street food in London. There is hardly a trace of the carts that sold sausages topped with mustard and grilled onions that once fed generations after a night on the town. But Londoners now have the delightful Yorkshire Burrito fusion cuisine, a perfect blend of creativity and brilliance.

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