A taco, tortilla or flatbread made from wheat flour rather than corn, folded to enclose a filling which might include any of refried beans, meat, chorizo, chicken, machaca or grated cheese. Found in northern Mexico it may be served with chilli sauce or guacamole and salad with soured cream (US: cultured sour cream).
A burrito is a large flour tortilla wrapped around a variety of cooked ingredients, that can typically be consumed without the use of eating utensils. The burrito is often stuffed with meats cooked in Latin American styles such as carne asada, pollo asada, shredded pork, as well as with rice, beans, and more. A burrito is typically served with salsa on the side.
The majority of people believe that burritos, a dish filled with spices and other Mexican ingredients, is a traditional Mexican food, however this is a common misconception. Burritos are largely unknown in most of Mexico (Pilcher 2012, 46). Although considered a Mexican food, burritos are actually a product of the “northern borderlands” of Mexico (Pilcher 2012, 46). Burritos are mostly found in the Sonora state of Mexico where they are made with very large “paper-thin flour tortillas” that can also be found being used in Baja California (Peyton 1990, 156
According to Emajean Jordan Buechner, author of Mexican Cooking, burritos can be “made from any food left over in the kitchen” (Buechner 1982, 82). For example, the flour tortilla is typically wrapped around “cooked beef, pork, deboned chicken, sausage with eggs, fried beans or cheese” (Buechner 1982, 82).
There are a few variations of burritos. One variation is the chimichanga, which is essentially a deep fried burrito. Chimichangas are thought to have been invented in Tucson, Arizona in the 1920s (Buechner 1982, 82). This fried food is stuffed with the same filling as when it is not deep-fried. It is usually served with guacamole, sour cream and salsa. However, if it is stuffed with fruit, or any other sweet substance the chimichanga then becomes a dessert.
Another variation of burritos is “Mission Burritos.” Essentially these are just overstuffed burritos that are to be held together by aluminum foil so they do not burst open (Pilcher 2012, 46). This name came from the Mission District of San Francisco.
Lexicographer: Emma Colbran, Tulane University
Bayless, Rick and Deann Groen Bayless. Authentic Mexican Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1987. Print.
Bayless, Rick. Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine. New York: Scribner, 1996. Print.
Buechner, Emajean Jordan. Mexican Cooking. Louisiana: Thunderbird Press, Inc., 1982. Print.
Luigart-Stayner, Becky. Chipotle Bean Burritos. n.d. MyRecipes.com. JPEG file.
Peyton, James W. El Norte The Cuisine of Northern Mexico. New Mexico: Red Crane Books, 1990. Print.
Pilcher, Jeffery M. Planet Taco A Global History of Mexican Food. New York: Oxford Press, 2012. Print.