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Just What Is A “Taco” And What Is A “Burrito”?

Okay, I brought up this question earlier, so I thought I’d do some research.  The results are SHOCKING!  Yes, prepare to get schooled on the finest Mexican portable eating on the planet.Heathen and I love “The Laredo Taco Company” inside Stripes.  It always bothered me though that they called what was clearly to me a burrito, a “taco”.  I did some research and I’ve come up with some vary mixed results.

First I went to Wikipedia.  Basically it said a burrito was a “wheat” tortilla wrapped or folded into a cylindrical shape to enclose the filling. I could accept this answer as the gospel if it wasn’t for the “wheat” designation which we’ll get to later.

Next I checked out the definition for “taco“. It said “…corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling.

So, if you go with just the definitions in Wikipedia, a burrito is a burrito, but a taco can be a taco or burrito, meaning it doesn’t matter what shape, if it has a tortilla and filling it can be referred to as a “taco”.

Now since Wikipedia started out with some bad information (the part about burritos being made with just “wheat”) I went to Dictionary.com.  It identifies a burrito as “…a tortilla folded over a filling”.  So, according to them, a burrito CAN be a taco.  The were even further off (in my opinion) when it came to tacos.  They define tacos as “…a tortilla folded into a roll and usually fried”.  Now my mind is completely blown, because that’s what I call, or know as a “chimichanga“. At this point I headed back to Wikipedia which confirmed my suspicion that a “chimichanga” is a deep fried burrito.  Dictionary.com was somewhat accurate calling it a “deep fried tortilla containing a filling” but made no mention of shape.

So what is what?  Well in my world, a burrito is generally a tortilla tube, and a taco is generally a folded over tortilla, and in a lot of cases that tortilla is fried.  I guess at the end of the day it doesn’t matter as long as they GET INTO MY BELLY!

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