Unwrapping the Burrito: Its Name and Origins

Among popular Mexican foods, the burrito stands out as a beloved and versatile dish. Is a favorite of casual diners at Mexican restaurants in NH and worldwide. Although the burrito’s appeal is no mystery, that’s not true of its origins. So what do we know about the origin of the burrito, and how did it get its name?


You’ll find burritos at Mexican restaurants in NH and around the world. Let’s look at some of the theories that explain their origins. 


Little Donkey

Many stories claim to explain the origins of the burrito. However, one prevailing theory links the name to the Spanish word burro, meaning donkey. This theory posits that the burrito earned its name because it looks similar to the packs or bundles transported on donkeys. Travelers saw a compact, portable meal wrapped in a tortilla, akin to the burdens a donkey might bear on its back.

The size and shape of the burrito may also bear some other donkey-related resemblances. The rolled tortilla might look like a folded and compact donkey’s ear, or it might resemble a miniature donkey, leading to the name “burrito.”


A Vendor’s Nickname

Another theory ties the name to a street food vendor who sold his tortilla-wrapped meals from a donkey-drawn cart. The vendor, perhaps looking for a catchy and memorable name, coined the term “burrito.” Over time, this moniker caught on, becoming synonymous with the rolled and stuffed tortilla we know and love today.


Mexican Restaurants NH | Day of the Dead Taqueria

Regardless of the origin, the burrito is now a staple of menus at Mexican restaurants in NH and worldwide. The next time you enjoy a delicious burrito from Day of the Dead Taqueria, take a moment to appreciate its rich history. What theory do you think explains its name? Is it the donkey’s burden, the street vendor’s cart, or the compact rolled shape? Do you have a theory of your own? We think you should come visit us and enjoy a burrito while you think about it. There’s no better way to muse on the mystery than with a tasty burrito in your hand.


Visit us at 454 Charles Bancroft Highway in Litchfield or order online. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for updates!

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