In the beginning, there were burritos.

Well, actually there weren't burritos first. But who wouldn't love one? Burritos have been around for a while, but the actual origin isn't so clear.

The word “burrito” comes from the Spanish word for donkey, “burro.” Translated it means “little donkey.” Some say that burritos look like donkey ears or the packs they carry, thus adding to the meaning of the name. Traditionally, a burrito is a flour tortilla rolled with rice, beans and meat inside. This form of the burrito is offered at most regular Mexican restaurants and some of the more traditional Tex-Mex restaurants.

In trying to figure out how the burrito came about, I ran across this story on Wikipedia. Now I obviously can’t say if it’s true or not, but I like to think it is.

“Mexican popular tradition tells the story of a man named Juan Mendez who used to sell tacos in a street stand, using a donkey as a transport for himself and the food, during the Mexican Revolution period (1910-1921) in the Bella Vista neighborhood in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. To keep the food warm, Juan had the idea of wrapping the food placed in a large home made flour tortilla inside individual napkins. He had a lot of success, and consumers came from other places around the Mexican border looking for the "food of the Burrito," the word they eventually adopted as the name for these large tacos.”

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New wave burritos, such as the ones at restaurants like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Moe’s, can contain anything and often offer toppings that look more like a salad bar than a burrito restaurant. The burritos you find here will be much larger than their traditional counterpart, often turning into two or three meals. These two restaurants in particular operate in a way similar to Subway, where you follow your food down the assembly line and specify which toppings you would like to add.

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