Tortilla Vs Burrito: Can You Spot Their Differences?

tortilla vs burrito

Tortilla vs burrito are both iconic traditional Mexican treats. Although they look pretty similar, there are still many distinct points of their own. Please read the article below to understand their differences clearly.

Quick Facts

Tortilla 

  • Origin: Sierra Madre Mountains, Mexico
  • Ingredients: plain flour, vegetable oil, fine salt
  • Cooking methods: cooking over medium-high heat

Burrito 

  • Origin: Guanajuato, Mexico
  • Ingredients: plain white rice, cheese, corn, cabbage, or lettuce
  • Cooking methods: baking in a 350°F

Related: Popular Mexican dishes everyone should know about

Main Differences

Overall, there are three crucial differences that help you distinguish these two distinctive Mexican dishes. 

Origin 

Tortilla 

Tortilla means “cake” in Spanish used firstly in the 1600s. Most people believe that this thin flatbread made from corn has originated in the Sierra Madre Mountains, Mexico. During the Aztecs, this type of tortilla served as a staple food. After the Spaniards defeated the Aztec empire, they spread this cake everywhere, and it quickly became famous around the world.

Today, corn is not only the main dish but also a symbol of Mexicans’ culture. Therefore, tortillas are also one of the most loved foods and foundations for many traditional Mexican dishes. 

Burrito 

Burrito means “little donkey” in Spanish. Although its origin is still a mystery, most people assume that this food comes from Guanajuato, Mexico, due to its vast popularity here. 

A commonly accepted story about this dish is that man from Chihuahua, Mexico, has sold food in a cart pulled by a donkey. His food was wrapped in flour tortillas to keep warm. In this way, it quickly became famous for the convenience of eating.

Today, burrito is a favorite food worldwide, and you can enjoy it in foreign nations such as the United States, Thailand, Korea, and China.

Ingredients 

Tortilla 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Burrito 

  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 ½ cups refried beans
  • ¾ cup corn kernels
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional garnish
  • 500g beef mince

Cooking methods 

Tortilla 

Here are detailed instructions on cooking a traditional tortilla cake:

  • First, mix the salt and butter into the flour. Add water, oil and stir well. You can add water or flour as needed to get a smooth dough.
  • Wait 15-20 minutes for the powder to absorb the required amount of water. This can enhance the flavor and texture of the cake. If you don’t have enough time, you can remove this step.
  • Divide and shape the dough into 7-inch equal round balls. Change the cake size to your preference. 
  • Roll the dough into thin, flat cakes. Roll from the center of the ball to the rest for standard pie crust creation. 
  • Heat a pan over medium-high heat to bake the crust. Bake for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Wrap them in foil to keep them warm.
  • Enjoy immediately or wrap tightly and refrigerate for storage. 

Burrito 

  • Pour oil into a pan and cook over high heat. Add garlic and onion, fry until they turn brown. Add the beef and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through.
  • Add 1 packet of taco seasoning and cook for about 1 minute. Add ketchup and water to sweeten the beef.
  • Place the burrito shell on the table. Then add beef, cheese, corn, black beans, tomato, a sprinkle of red onion, and coriander.
  • Next, fold the bottom up to cover the filling. Roll tightly and wrap in foil.
  • Enjoy the burrito.

3 Ways To Reheat Tortillas

Reheating tortilla is a necessary step to enjoy the full flavor. With just a little heat, it becomes pliable and easy to wrap around the filling. Follow three simple ways below to enjoy tortillas: 

Use the microwave: Place up to 5 tortillas on a plate and microwave. Cover them with a damp paper towel. Reheat them for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat until all are warmed up.

Use an oven: Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and place them in the oven. Bake the cake for 15 minutes. You can save time by heating several ones at once.

Use the stove-top: Place the tortillas in the pan. Add oil and cook for 30 seconds on each side. You can use tongs for baking cakes directly on the gas stove instead of using a pan. These methods work best when the tortillas are fresh.

Nutrition And Fortification Of Corn & Wheat Tortilla 

Corn tortillas are considered an excellent energy source due to their high starch content and essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamins A, D, E, and B12. Besides, corn tortillas also use beans or animal products to supplement good-quality protein. The critical micronutrients combined with proteins enable the well-rounded development of children. Furthermore, they also contain a high amount of sodium.

Wheat tortillas are also an excellent source of calories with high starch and fat content. Furthermore, wheat tortillas also restrict calories and increase fiber and phytochemical content, which improves human health. This cake is also fortified with animal products to provide the necessary protein.

3 Burrito Styles Everyone Should Know

Wet

This is a burrito eaten with a knife and fork. It is topped with melted cheese and a spicy red or green gravy.

Poncho

This is the most popular burrito in London, England. A simple mixture of just beans, rice, and meat.

Bean and cheese

This comfort burrito with cheese and beans is the OG of burritos. It’s straightforward to make at home with a bag of tortillas and a can of Rosarita roasted beans.

Mariana Rouco

Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.

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