Why is it Called a Burrito?

Across the globe, burritos are noted as a staple in Mexican cuisine. The meat, cheese, bean, and veggie stuffed tortillas are extremely popular, but most people are unaware of their origins. If you are looking for Burritos or Tacos in Farmingdale, it may be worthwhile to learn where they came from and why they are called “burritos” to begin with!

The word burrito translates to “little donkey”, stemming from “burro” which means donkey, and “-ito” which means little. Burritos do not contain any donkey products and they do not look like donkeys, so where did the name come from? The truth is that we don’t know for a fact who invented the burrito or why. We know that burritos were invented sometime in the 20th century and that there are many theories about their creation. Here are a few examples of theories:


  • Juan Méndez, a street vendor in Chihuahua, Mexico, invented the burrito. During the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s, Méndez decided to wrap his food in flour tortillas to keep it warm and transport it on his small donkey. He then realized that wrapping the food in a tortilla was tasty and a good way to serve it.
  • People from a northwestern state of Mexico, called Sonora, invented the burrito because of its mobility. Burritos in Mexico at the time were not as stuffed and full as they are today in the United States, so they were extremely easy to travel with. This influenced the burrito’s name because it was the donkey’s sidekick in travel. 
  • The burrito was invented in Ciudad Juárez in the 1940s by a street vendor. He portioned the food and wrapped it in a tortilla, making it appropriate for school children, whom he derogatively referred to as “burritos” because he believed they were unintelligent.

While their origins are unclear, burritos have stood the test of time. While they were likely simple at the time of their creation, burritos have evolved to include an enormous variety of ingredients, fillings, and flavors. The more classic-styled burritos typically contain some of the following ingredients:


  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Meat
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Pico de gallo
  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Corn
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • … and more!

With an endless range of ingredients, it is easy to find a burrito that works for you and your tastebuds! If you are looking for burritos or tacos in Farmingdale, come visit us at High Tide Taco Bar. Here, we have vegan options, seasonal specialties, amazing Taco Tuesday deals, and a vast menu of options! Contact us for burritos and tacos in Farmingdale today!