Burritos, Fajitas, or Tacos? What’s the difference?

If there’s any one type of cuisine that’s enjoyed worldwide, it’s Mexican. Many countries have adapted it and changed it to fit local conditions and ingredients.

Although the local version of Mexican food may not be truly Mexican, three traditional standbys that are almost constant are tacos, burritos and fajitas. No matter where you are, they have similar delicious characteristics.

More similar than different

Whether you’re talking burritos, tacos, or fajitas, they’re basically tortillas wrapped around some kind of filling. And there’s the difference: the fillings.

For example, tacos are cooked until they’re crispy and are filled with meat, cheese and an assortment of vegetables. Then they’re covered with generous amounts of salsa.

Burritos also start with tortillas, but in this case the tortillas usually are soft and served warm. They may be filled with mild or spicy beef chili that’s topped with lettuce and tomato. Instead of salsa, the topping here usually is melted cheese.

Fajitas also start with soft flour tortillas, and share some other similarities to burritos. They’re filled with an assortment of delicious meat, peppers, onions, and—of course—more salsa. The meat may be beef or chicken, or even something more exotic such as shrimp.

In the Beginning…….

Although most people think of tacos as being a Spanish invention, they’ve actually been around since the time of the Aztecs. They’ve always been used as the region’s version of bread, and have been rolled around some kind of filling or broken up and used as sort of edible utensils or scoops.

The taco that we all know and love today originated in rural Mexico. Burritos also come from Mexico, but they’re been Americanized and made bigger with more ingredients. The word burrito means “little burro,” which is a reference to its resemblance to a burro’s ear.

There’s dispute over the origin of the fajita; both Mexico and west Texas claim it as their own. Originally made with inferior cuts of meat, they’re now made with chicken, pork, turkey, or shrimp, as well as the traditional beef.

On the Plate……

Although tacos are made of tortillas, the tortillas are fried until they’re crunchy. Burritos and fajitas, on the other hand, are made from soft tortillas. Burritos are made by wrapping the tortilla around the filling, while fajitas are used to more loosely hold filling that’s scooped into them.

Compare and Contrast:

Tacos

• Tacos will usually be made from crispy fried tortillas, although some varieties are made with soft tortillas
• Inside is filled with meat, various vegetables and cheese

Burritos

• Mexican food which are soft tortillas wrapped around a filling
• This is filled with meat and topped with lettuce and tomatoes
• It may have refried beans as part of the filling

Fajitas

• A dish that is a lot like a burrito, but the filling generally is spooned into the tortilla, which then is wrapped loosely around it
• This was made with cheaper cuts of meat in the past

Burritos, Fajitas or Tacos? Which do you prefer?

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