What are the Origins of Burritos?

Burrito history
Image by Erika Tanith from Pixabay

Are you a fan of burritos? These Mexican-style beauties have become a favorite all around the world over the past couple of decades, and there’s a fascinating, hidden story many don’t know that explains their origins. So, let’s learn about it!

Burritos—which are made of a number of ingredients, most commonly meat, rice, beans, and/or vegetables wrapped inside of a tortilla—are an invention that can be traced back over 10,000 years!

A Deep Dive

Pre-Colombian peoples in what is now Mexico and the southwestern United States began making corn tortillas many thousands of years ago and soon learned to put crops like mushrooms, squash, and tomatoes inside of them to give them more nutritional value and flavor.

This tradition continued for many thousands of years until the modern burrito came about gradually and in an unclear manner. Since foods similar to the modern burritos have been consumed for so long, it’s hard to say exactly where our modern concept of them traces back to.

However, it appears that in the 19th century, the modern burrito began to be documented in linguistic and historical records from the state of Guanajuato and northern Mexico as a combination of beans, meat, vegetables, and rice wrapped inside of a tortilla, which is how we know it today.

In the early 20th century, burritos then crossed the border to the United States and were reintroduced by Mexican immigrants, who began preparing and serving them in California, and it didn’t take them long to expand throughout the rest of the country, and later, worldwide.

Isn’t that fascinating?