Mexican cuisine is always tempting but to choose from a variety of food, especially when the competition is between burrito vs taco vs fajita, is a difficult task as they all taste impeccable. However, to choose between the three, you should first know the difference between them. Let’s dive in!
1. Burrito Meaning
A burrito is a wrap that is made of tortilla flour, as opposed to roti or a chapati that is made of wheat flour. It is filled with different kinds of ingredients like onions, baked or steamed rice, chopped tomato, Mexican style rice, jalapeño, green chilly, hot salsa, vegetable, beef, cheese, cream, etc. All of this is wrapped inside a tortilla, which is then rolled in a way to hold all the filling intact. (See Rum Ingredients)
- In the vegan version of a burrito, meat is usually replaced with finely chopped vegetables.
- The Indian version adds mashed potato and paneer to the mix.
- A burrito can also be baked or grilled to soften it or make it crisper, according to individual needs.
- A burrito is served with a sauce or mayo to accompany it.
- It is mostly eaten with hands but also, some renditions are eaten with a fork and knife as well.
2. Origin of Burrito
The origin of this dish dates back as far as 1500 B.C. when tortilla was used in the form of powder flour to gum together leaf latex, and available ingredients like animal meat, onions, tomato, and mushrooms. However, wrapping it was not a popular thing at that time. Hence, it was a simpler form of taco. (See Where Do Black Olives Come From?)
3. History of Burrito
Diccionario de Mejicanismos by Feliz Ramos i Duarte, 1895, recognized burrito as its own form of dish rather than a wrapped taco and named it tortilla arrollada, con carne u otra cosa dentro, que en Yucatán llaman coçito, y en Cuernavaca y en Mexico, taco which, in English, roughly translates to a rolled tortilla with beef and other ingredients inside known as coçito in Yucatán and taco in the city of Cuernavaca and in Mexico City. Indeed, it is a pretty big name for what was originally a wrapped taco. The modern name burrito came around much later in the 1940s. (See Fascinating History of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups)
4. Taco Meaning
Taco is prepared with a top-opened wrap that is made with wheat tortilla, as opposed to a burrito that is made with tortilla flour. Yet, it is very much similar to a burrito as many of the ingredients are the same – such as meat, onions, jalapeño, green chilly, chopped tomatoes, etc. Furthermore, it is more of a traditional Mexican dish.
- A hot and chilly pepper sauce is added on the top of the taco to increase its taste.
- Sometimes the sauce is also sour or sweet.
- It is mostly famous baked and not grilled.
- It is eaten by hand as well.
Funnily, there is a gag in pop culture where British people don’t know how to eat a taco, and they have to take classes for it. Hahaha!!! It also makes you wonder Why Do Asians Use Chopsticks? Continue reading to read about burrito vs taco vs fajita differences.
5. History of Taco
It could come as a surprise to many that the origin and history of taco are way older than the Spanish language in Mexico. Earlier, people used to eat a taco with the filling of fish, nut, and animal meat. The word taco is fairly new, however, having come around the early 1920s. During this time, there were people of Mexico that migrated to the U.S. to work as vendors and started selling this dish calling it tacos. There was a technique when gunpowder was filled in a paper called taquito to prepare it for detonation. Did you know October 4 is National taquito day. (See Interesting History of French Fries)
6. Fajita Meaning
Fajita too is a Mexican dish. Even though it uses a tortilla as well, it is not wrapped like a burrito nor folded like a taco. Rather, it is like a gourmet dish with a stripped, pasta-like folding of meat, pork, beef, or chopped vegetables, finely mashed onions, tomato, Mexican rice, cheese, green chilly, jalapeno with a tortilla as a spread underneath. It looks like a salad with a tortilla underneath and cabbage as garnishing.
- Shred and garnishing are done on top of it to make it look appealing.
- Hot sauce is added on top of it.
- It is usually eaten with a fork or spoon.
Some renditions also make a wrap out of it, called fajita wrap.
7. History of Fajita
Fajita is the latest entry in tortilla-based Mexican dishes. It came around the late 1950s when the toppings of taco were served on a plate to the people. In 1971, fajita got its name from the Latin word fascia. For a short amount of time, tortilla was removed from underneath and was rather served alongside in a triangular shape. However, it became a category of its own and the fajita was brought back to default with a tortilla underneath. The next segment will discuss burrito vs taco vs fajita! (See Phase vs Faze)
8. Burrito vs Taco vs Fajita
The battle between burrito vs taco vs fajita is a tough one as they all have similar bindings and fillings such as a tortilla, meat or vegetables, onion, tomato, green chilly, jalapeno, and cheese. But the difference comes with the addition of sauce and presentation.
- A burrito is usually served with a hot sauce on the side whereas tacos and fajita mostly have sauce on top of them.
- You can eat burritos and tacos with hands whereas you need a spoon or fork to eat a normal fajita.
- Tortilla in burrito and fajita can be raw whereas taco will always have a baked or grilled tortilla.
It all comes down to your personal preference, as all of them are equally tasty. So, order one today!