After a hard day at school followed by a workout at soccer practice, you finally make it home. As you barge through the front door, your nostrils are greeted by the spicy scent of dinner cooking. What smells so delicious?
You breathe deeply through your nose, taking in the scents emanating from the kitchen. You detect beef, spices, cheese, and veggies. Could it be your favorite handheld meal? As you round the corner into the kitchen, you lay eyes on a plate filled with rolled tortillas stuffed with all sorts of tasty ingredients. What are we talking about? Yummy burritos!
As you probably already know, a burrito is a delicacy associated with Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Its distinct cylindrical shape is achieved by wrapping a flour tortilla around a group of ingredients to completely enclose them. Like a sandwich, burritos are easy to handle and eat on the go.
Burritos come in many different varieties, depending upon the particular tastes of individuals. In fact, you might find that there are as many different types of burritos as there are people who love burritos!
Basic burritos might contain nothing more than meat, such as beef, chicken, or pork, and refried beans. More complex burritos can contain many different types of other ingredients, including cheese, rice, black or pinto beans, vegetables, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
Historians aren't sure exactly when the burrito was invented. Some experts trace the origin of the modern burrito to the late 1800s and early 1900s around the time of the Mexican Revolution. Other experts, however, point out that tortillas were used to wrap foods hundreds, if not thousands, of years before that.
Even more puzzling is how burritos got their name. If you know much Spanish, you may have WONDERed about burritos before. In Spanish, a burro is a donkey and the diminutive form of the word — burrito — translates to "little donkey."
Some believe the name stems from a Mexican man named Juan Mendez who sold meat and beans wrapped in a flour tortilla from a cart pulled by a donkey. Customers loved his creation and would wait impatiently every day for the "burrito" to arrive with the food they enjoyed.
Others believe that the name could come from the fact that burritos resemble donkey ears. Still others think burritos instead resemble the bed rolls and packs often seen on the backs of working donkeys.
However the name came about, it's clear that the burrito has become a fixture of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Beyond just meat and beans, burritos are now often packed with rice, cheese, salsa, and guacamole and wrapped in aluminum foil. These large "Mission style" burritos got their start in San Francisco decades ago and are now popular in fresh Mexican restaurants around the United States.