Tacos vs. Burritos vs. Fajitas

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Difference between Tacos, Burritos and Fajitas

Mexican cuisine has been enjoyed, adapted-and yes, bastardized-countless times in many parts of the world. Although genuine Mexican cuisine isn't always that easy to come by, traditional standbys such as Tacos, Burritos and Fajitas are fairly common almost anywhere you go. Let's take a look at some of the more characteristic features of each of these delicious treats.

Tacos
Burritos

Ingredients

All three are basically tortillas rolled around a variety of fillings. It is in the fillings that they primarily differ. Tacos for instance are made by filling tortillas with meat, cheese, and an assortment of vegetables. The entire thing is then drizzled with abundant amounts of salsa.

Burritos are also made from tortillas, although they are usually soft and served warm. These are then filled with chili beef of varying levels of hotness and lettuce and tomatoes, and the whole mess is generously topped with melted cheese.

Fajitas are also made from soft flour tortillas, and they are actually quite similar to burritos. Inside is a delicious assortment of meat, peppers, onions, and even more salsa. You could also change the ingredients around somewhat, and use chicken instead of beef, for example.

Origins

Unbeknownst to many, tacos aren't actually a Spanish invention, and they have in fact been around since the time of the Aztecs. Back then as now, tortillas were pretty much eaten as the region's version of bread, where the pieces were rolled around food or were broken up to scoop food. The familiar form of the taco that we all recognize today was born in rural Mexico.

Burritos also come from Mexico, although it has been since Americanized and made bigger with more ingredients. The word itself means "little burro", given its resemblance to the burro's ear.

The origin of the fajita has long been disputed, with both Mexico and West Texas claiming it as their own invention. The concoction was traditionally made with inferior cuts of meat, although it has since been reinvented into a respectable treat in its own right. Today, fajitas can be made with chicken, pork, turkey, and shrimp, in addition to the traditional beef.

Presentation

Tacos use tortillas of course, but they are fried 'til crunchy, unlike the burrito and the fajita, which uses soft tortillas. Burritos are made by wrapping the tortilla around the filling, while fajitas are pretty much made the same way, except that the wrap is looser.

Similarities and Differences

Tacos

  • Uses crispy fried tortillas, although there are soft-shelled variants
  • Filled with meat, cheese and various vegetables

Burritos

  • Uses soft tortillas wrapped around the filling
  • Filled with meat, lettuce and tomatoes
  • Often filled with re-fried beans

Fajitas

  • Similar to a burrito, although the tortilla is generally wrapped loosely around the filling
  • Traditionally made with cheaper cuts of meat
Which Mexican food tastes best when spicy?
  • Tacos
  • Burritos
  • Fajitas
 
 

Discuss It: comments 2

  • Guest
  • Jeffrey wrote on April 2010

Generally speaking there are no exact definitions for these mexican foods, as each category has its own variations, but as far as I know, here are the differences:

Tacos are usually ground spicy meat served with condiments in a tortilla (usually lettuce, salsa, peppers, sour cream, guacamole, maybe cheese). "True" mexican tacos generally do not come in "hard shells" (that is a american fast food deviation.)

  • Guest
  • Patricia wrote on July 2012

Oh God, no one in Mexico eats crispy tacos.

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