Burritos do originate in Mexico, but they look a lot different than their American counterparts. In the U.S., burritos are typically monstrous things, a large flour tortilla wrapped around a myriad of fillings, including rice, beans, meat, cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. In Mexico they are far more common in the North than the South, and are called "tacos de harina," which means "wheat flour tacos." They are smaller and have fewer fillings, sometimes only refried beans and/or meat.
Fun fact: The word burrito means "little donkey" in Spanish!
Essentially a deep-fried burrito, there is some debate over whether the chimichanga was invented in the U.S. or Mexico. Whatever the case, the greasy dish experiences much greater popularity in the U.S. than in Mexico, where it is a regional specialty of Sonora. Americans stuff them full of the same ingredients as a burrito and also sometimes top them with additional cheese, sour cream and/or sauce.
Get inspiration in the kitchen with these (American) Mexican recipes >>
Spanish Food, Mexican Food, What’s the Difference
Even though the country of Mexico speaks Spanish, their food is known as Mexican food. Spanish food is the term reserved for cuisine that comes from the country of Spain. There are a few similarities between the two types of dishes, but in general, there are very broad differences that distinguish the two.
The first difference can be found in the types of meats that are used in many of the traditional dishes. In Spanish cooking, shrimp is used quite often in many of the most popular meals. Although some Mexican entrees contain shrimp, most are centered on beef, chicken, and pork.
A lot of Mexican dishes use corn tortillas as wraps. These wraps are substitutes for bread. Tortillas can be filled with meat, cheese, vegetables, and other tasty ingredients. In Spanish cooking, tortillas are not commonly used. Instead, many Spanish entrees use bread.
Soups and stews are a staple in Spanish cuisine, whereas they aren’t very commonly eaten in Mexico. One of the most popular Spanish soups is gazpacho, a tomato based soup that is served with cold bread. Tortilla soups are most common in Mexican Cuisine. Ortega Chipotle Tortilla Soup Mix offers a quick serve way to provide a delicious meal.
Many Mexican dishes contain some of the hottest peppers in the world, including habanero peppers and chipotle. Many Spanish recipes also include peppers, but the peppers used are much milder.
Another big difference between Spanish and Mexican food can be seen in the spices that are used. Mexican dishes are usually made with a wide variety of spices, including chili powder, garlic, and cloves. In Spanish cooking, saffron is the main spice that is used in many different recipes. Mexican cooking also focuses more on the spices themselves. Even the simplest recipes are enhanced with flavor because of the spices that are mixed in. Spanish cooking relies on using more ingredients to achieve a wonderful taste, and while spices are used in cooking, they just aren’t used as often as they are in Mexican recipes.
Even Mexican and Spanish desserts differ greatly. Mexican desserts are made with flour, like muffins, pastries, and cookies, while the people of Spain indulge in puddings and treats that are made with rice. Both Mexico and Spain have flan, although the way it is made often varies between the two cultures.
As you can see, there are many differences between Spanish and Mexican cuisine. Each culture has its own set of recipes, chosen ingredients, and favorite spices that are used to create unique flavors that make them so distinct.