Educate me about burritos, please

While grocery shopping yesterday I happened to notice the rack of tortillas,. and realized I’ve NEVER eaten a burrito.

Clearly I should remedy this.

The vague impressions I’ve gained over the years is that a burrito is a category, like a sandwich. As in, you plop whatever you have/like onto a tortilla, fold and roll it, and (optionally?) fry it up a bit before eating it So there are ‘traditional’ fillings for burritos, but no reason you can’t have a BLT burrito or a PB&J one if you wanted to. Right?

Anyway, the packages I looked at had plain, spinach, and tomato/garlic burritos, and looked around 8" in diameter. If you were making them as the main course for, say, six adults, how many would you make? How much ‘volume’ of filling do you put into each one? Like, a quarter cup of a couple different things, or a half cup? Or X ounces of meat, or whatever unit you might think in terms of.

And the frying: is the point just to make it hot? Or do you want it to look fried? Or be totally crispy/crunchy?

Do you serve the packets whole or cut in half?

As you see, I probably don’t even know the right questions to ask. And, no, there are no taco restaurants within the distance I am willing to travel given the current cold snap/covid situation. Thanks!

I sometimes make burritos for breakfast. I use the large flour tortillas. My usual filling is scrambled eggs, two strips of bacon, shredded cheese, and salsa verde. I heat the tortilla on the gas flame before filling. Then roll and fold. I leave one end open.

I guess you could call it a “wrap” rather than a burrito.

I made burritos for myself recently. I used 10" tortillas, which is big enough that one makes a decent supper for me. Filling for six burritos consisted of one can of refried beans, 2/3 of a cup (before cooking) of rice, a chopped and sauteed onion (I would have used two, if I had them on hand), some salsa, some grated cheese, and some guacamole (exact proportions are completely variable to whatever degree you desire, but that was about the right amount of total stuff). I rolled over one side, folded the two ends in, and then continued rolling, wrapped them individually and froze the ones I wasn’t eating that day (reheat in a microwave). No frying necessary.

Typically, if it’s not Mexican-ish ingredients, it gets called a “wrap”, rather than a “burrito”, but they’re in essence the same thing, and it’s not like the Burrito Police are going to come arrest you for calling a PBJ wrap a “burrito”.

I have been to places in eg California where they deliver a burrito the size of your head stuffed with tons of ingredients, like rice, beans, meat, sour cream, cheese, onions, salsa, etc, so that is a real thing.

I’m not sure that simply serving a stack of fresh tortillas along with dinner (let’s say in Guatemala, or cf. an Ethiopian injera) makes a “burrito”. However, like the other posters, I have certainly been known to use a corn or wheat tortilla as a substitute for bread in making a sandwich; the food ends up wrapped and you can eat it with your hands without making a mess.


It’s not a deep-fried Mars bar; no need to fry it.

Pretty much, there are certainly traditional burrito fillings and toppings, but there’s no real reason you can’t put whatever you want in it and call it one.

I’d start with plain, for the most part. Flavored can be good, but only if you like those flavors and plan to use something that compliments them. Sometimes a blank canvas is the best place to start.

8", definatalty 2 each. It’s more typical to use a 10", and that can vary based on appetite, but one would usually be a decently filling meal. And then you more or less fill it up so that you can still fold it. I usually use about a 1/2 cup of taco meat in a 10".

Though I usually do burritos as breakfast burritos, with sausage, peppers, onions, egg, and cheese.

I’ve never really fried burritos, I don’t know that that is necessary.

I live in California. If I understand correctly, a fried burrito would be a chimichanga. Fillings are very much a matter of personal preference as to how much of what. Do be careful with wetter fillings, since you can get dripping out the “bottom” end while eating (happens to me a lot).

One definite: contrary to claims made by the current leaders of North Korea, burritos were most probably not invented by their Eternal Leader Kim Jong Il, and they’ve been around a lot longer than ten years, since I’ve been eating them since childhood in the 1970s in rural Oregon. :slight_smile:

Sonoran tortilla sobaquera: :slight_smile:

The single exception to this rule, in my experience, is the new(?) category of “breakfast burrito,” which has eggs and possibly sausage or ham.

I don’t think burritos are typically fried. I believe a fried burrito is called a chimichanga.

‘Burrito’ as you suggest, is a broad catch-all term like ‘sandwich’. It generally consists of an uncooked flour tortilla stuffed with any number and type of fillings. Sometimes a burrito is served with melted cheese on top, usually as part of a platter with beans and rice. A burrito cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce is called an enchilada. Though there are ‘wet’ or ‘dirty’ burritos that are served smothered in some type of sauce and possibly melted cheese, so it’s a gray area.

Take my info with a grain of salt (or dash of Cholula) though, because being born and raised in Michigan, the typical Mexican or Tex-Mex food available to me is probably not the most authentic.

If you don’t have a nearby Taco Bell you can almost certainly find a variety of frozen burritos in most grocery stores. I usually have a bag of El Monterey Burritos Beef & Bean burritos in my freezer, 1:15 in the microwave then covered with CHI-CHI’S Thick & Chunky Salsa Medium and maybe some sour cream on top; quick, easy, and filling as well as tasty.

Not 100% on this but I think a fried burrito is called a chimichanga.

When my lady-friend from southern Mexico visited Tijuana we stopped to eat at a taco stand. She looked at the menu and asked “What’s a burrito?” … so it’s apparently not a national dish.

To the OP, I’d recommend trying a burrito at a quality Mexican restaurant in your area, if that’s possible. That will give you an idea of what a “standard” burrito is like. Whereabouts, roughly speaking, do you live? Most of the US should have a decent Mexican place relatively nearby. Not sure about Europe or the rest of the world.

You should definitely cook the tortilla first lol.

I went to a restaurant that caters to our hispanic population once, ordered a burrito, and I’m pretty sure that was the tortilla they used.

It was pretty good, but was food enough for a couple of days.

How does this even happen? :astonished: :astonished: :cry:

I would not suggest Taco Bell. Their burritos are OK, but not great. (Actually, I think they’re better than El Monterey frozen ones; but those are good in a pinch.) Del Taco is a better fast-food alternative, if there are any in your area.

There’s a place in Culver City called Tito’s Tacos. Their food is very simple. Their burrito fillings are any combination of beans, rice, beef, and cheese. The beef is chile colorado – beef in a red sauce. If you order a bowl of chili, that’s what you get. If you order a beef burrito, that’s what’s in it. I think that’s about as ‘authentic’ as you can get.

Del Taco had a ‘Macho Meat Burrito’. (I say ‘had’ because it’s been a 17 or 18 years since I’ve been to one, and I don’t see it on their menu now.) This was a large flour tortilla filled with seasoned ground beef, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and sour cream. It weighed at least a pound. Loved them. They still have the Macho Combo Burrito, which is the same thing only with beans in addition to the meat.

I grew up eating burritos you hold in your hand. That’s still the way I prefer them. In restaurants you can get ‘wet’ burritos. They’re good, but I still like the ol’ hand-held kind. I agree with iiandyiiii that unless you live in an area with hole-in-the-wall taquerias, a Mexican restaurant is a good choice.

Breakfast burritos: Egg, potatoes, sausage/bacon/ham (or all of the above), cheese (not American), and salsa. Scrambled eggs are usual, but over-easy eggs are great too. Or try scrambled egg, potatoes, and chorizo. I don’t like cheese on chorizo burritos.

It seems like if I eat a spoonful of rice, I gain five pounds. I’ve been keeping low-carb for a few years now, so I have to be careful about burritos. I use smaller, low-carb tortillas and avoid rice or beans in them. :frowning:

To clarify, tortillas that you buy in the grocery store are already cooked, just like the bread that you buy is already baked. You might or might not reheat the tortillas before you make burritos with them, but you’re not going to find uncooked tortillas unless you make them yourself, and you wouldn’t do anything with a tortilla before cooking it.

eh, you can find uncooked tortillas. You have to look a bit harder for them, and not everyone carries them, but they are a product that is sold.

Yes, by ‘uncooked tortilla’, I meant a soft flour tortilla that’s not secondarily cooked by grilling or frying it.

That’s your basic burrito from Chipotle IME. WAY too much food for one sitting.

My head just exploded.

Of course it is. IIUC, that’s a mission burrito, and it’s standard at national chains like Chipotle and Qdoba.

I think of a “wrap” as something that would be a sandwich if it were served on bread rather than wrapped in a tortilla; and it’s often served cold. The filling of a burrito is looser.

So, what is it if you put a hot dog in it?