Which came first...[Mexican food question]

Hello some friends and I were having a debate about which came first, the taco, burrito or enchiladas? Any help would be appreciated :smiley:

In English dictionaries the word “taco” came first and then “burritto”. I cannot find a date given for “enchiladas” in English dictionaries.

To me, a taco is simplest. I’d guess taco.


What about tamales?

Enchiladas. 1859.

Probably the oldest of all.

from Barry Popik’s wonderful, eclectic, but meticulously researched website.

The chicken.

I would expect an English dictionary to have Burrito first, then Enchiladas, and then Tacos. Tamales should follow Tacos, of course.

This kind of question calls for research! Let us go to a nice Mexican restaurant and order one of each. Then all we have to do is wait!

Out of curiosity, what’s the source of that quote.

Again, use Barry Popik’s website. The Big Apple is under construction


The taco and the tamal probably came into being much at the same time. They both consist of a nixtamal based vessel holding another type of filling. In one, the taco, the masa is pre-cooked and the filling added and the other , the tamal, the filling is added to the masa and they are cooked together.

Moving from GQ to Cafe Society. Also edited title to indicate subject.

General Questions Moderator

Tacos, corn tortillas wrapped around a filling, predate the arrival of Europeans since they are described in accounts of Cortes’ conquest of Mexico.

Enchiladas are basically tacos with chile sauce on them, and were presumably developed after the invention of the taco itself. They could well be pre-Columbian, but are first mentioned in a Mexican cookbook of 1831.

Burritos are made with flour tortillas, and so must post-date the arrival of Europeans (since the Indians didn’t have wheat). Supposedly they originated during the time of the Mexican Revolution between 1910-1921.