The usual flatbreads are wheat tortillas, lavash, or pita; the filling usually consists of cold sliced meat, poultry, or fish accompanied by shredded lettuce, diced tomato or pico de gallo, guacamole, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, grilled onions, cheese, and a sauce, such as ranch or honey mustard.
Mexicans, Armenians, Middle Easterners, Greeks and Turks have been eating wraps since before the 1900s. Mexicans refer to them as burritos, and they come in different ingredient varieties, primarily wheat flour or corn.
The wrap in its Western form probably comes from California, as a generalization of the Tex-Mex burrito, and became popular in the 1990s. It may have been invented and named at a southern California chain called "I Love Juicy" in the early 1980s. The OVO Bistro in NYC introduced its wrap sandwich in 1990 under the name "The King Edward," The Bobby Valentine Sports Gallery Cafe in Stamford, Connecticut is sometimes claimed to have invented the wrap at about the same time, but Valentine is diffident about it: "Well, that's legend and folklore, but until somebody disputes me or comes up with a better story, I'll say I invented the wrap." Beth Dolan of Stamford, Connecticut is the waitress credited for serving the first wrap after the restaurant had run out of bread. Moreover, Valentine's own story dates his use of the name 'wrap' to the mid-1990s, after it is documented in California. San Francisco-based chain World Wrapps, which opened its first location in February 1995, is credited with popularizing the wrap nationwide.
Wraps in public eating places
Restaurants such as Camille's Sidewalk Cafe, Sonic Drive-In, Jason's Deli, Buffalo Wild Wings, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Roly Poly and McAlister's Deli serve wraps. KFC now serves its chicken in a wrap as menu choice, with lettuce, mayonnaise and salsa. McDonald's has a snack wrap, with a fried, or grilled chicken strip, lettuce, Cheddar, and ranch dressing. Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill has recently introduced a Portobello Chicken Wrap to broaden their selection of grilled menu items. Wraps are also very popular in Australia and New Zealand with chains such as Oporto and Burger Fuel amongst others serving them.
The UK wrap market has grown substantially since 2004 with all major sandwich and fast food stores now selling wraps.
- Becky Mercouri, "Wraps", in Andrew F. Smith, The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, 2007. ISBN 0-19-530796-8
- Akasha Richmond, Hollywood Dish, 2006, p. 115. ISBN 1-58333-241-3
- The Oxford English Dictionary cites an article in the 12 October 1989 Los Angeles Times mentioning "The Juicy Wrap, a whole-wheat lavash (tortilla-type) sandwich‥is popular at I Love Juicy in West Hollywood."
- Ken Hoffman, "Watching Little Leaguers make Valentine's day", Houston Chronicle, 24 August 2010 article
- India Mandelkern, "The Bros Who Disrupted The Sandwich" Eater, December 4, 2017