A Cook's Diary

Burritos, enchiladas, tacos and chimichangas


If your idea of a taco is meat, vegetables and cheese inside a hard U-shaped shell that came out of a box, then what you’re familiar with is commercial taco popularized in the United States. Real Mexican tacos are made with fresh corn or wheat (but mostly corn) tortillas which may be served soft or deep-fried. Curiously, tacos weren’t always U-shaped. Early historical accounts claim that tacos were tortillas wrapped around a filling. And that sounds like a burrito rather than a taco. Which is somewhat correct because the term burrito was coined by Americans who bought tacos from a peddler who travelled with a burro or a donkey. Is a burrito really a taco then? Not really. There are real Mexican burritos but they are smaller and thinner and nothing like Tex-Mex burrito.

And what is a chimichanga? It is fried burrito and the name does not appear to be Mexican in origin although it is possible that it is a misspelling or mispronunciation, or both, of the Mexican chivichanga.

What about enchiladas? Basically, they are burritos but they are served with a spicy tomato sauce. Enchiladas are not only found in Mexico but in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala too.

Oh, but wait! There’s another one — quesadillas. Quesadillas are tortillas filled with cheese. Sometimes, for variety, some other ingredient is added to the filling but it’s basically just cheese.

Personally, I don’t enjoy eating tacos with the boxed shells. I find them impossible to manage as the filling keeps falling off as the shells crack. What I love are burritos, quesadillas and enchiladas. And we had chicken and mushroom burritos for a light dinner tonight. No, not the one you see in the photo. That was taken at the MMLDC’s Areva Pavilion where we stayed overnight after typhoon Ondoy when there was neither power nor water in our subdivision. Will post the recipe for chicken and mushroom burritos in a short while.

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