If you are a Tex-Mex cuisine enthusiast, you have probably come across discussions on chimichanga vs burrito. Chimichangas and burritos are the two most popular tex-mex staples.
We all know that chimichangas are not burritos, but what exactly are the differences between the two?
The main difference between them is that burritos consist of tortilla wraps containing a range of ingredients inside them, while chimichangas are deep-fried burritos that you serve alongside a sauce, specifically sour cream sauce.
This article discusses chimichangas vs burritos in detail. We will look at the main differences between the two and help you distinguish one from the other. Let’s dive in.
Loosely translated, the word burrito means little donkey. To date, it is unclear how burrito acquired its name since several myths are surrounding its origin.
It is believed that burritos originated from Northern Mexico during the Spanish colonization when flour tortillas became popular. It is a popular Mexican appetizer that originally contained traditional fillings. However, with time it became a popular dish in other border states.
Originally, the only fillings were meat and beans, but when the burrito was introduced to the United States, people started embracing other fillings and a variety of meats.
A burrito is a Mexican cuisine that consists of a flour tortilla wrapped around various ingredients. These include ground beef, chili peppers, a bed of lettuce and other different things.
The two main ingredients in burritos are beans and minced meat. However, a burrito can contain a variety of ingredients and different fillings including cheese, rice, salsa, lettuce, crema, and tomatoes.
Burritos may resemble tacos in a way, but they are completely different.
Currently, there are several burrito varieties available. You may come across veggie burritos, vegan burritos, small burritos, big burritos, and many others.
Where you come from may also determine the fillings in your burrito as well as the size of a burrito. For instance, San Francisco burritos come in the form of a large flour tortilla and contain several ingredients including cheese, refried beans, salsa, meat, rice, guacamole, and sour cream.
California burritos contain cheese, French fries, pico de gallo, carne asada, and guacamole.
On the other hand, San Diego burritos are big and more often than not only contain guacamole, meat, and pico de gallo.
The constant is that the various ingredients are always wrapped in a flour tortilla.
Loosely translated, the word chimichanga means a deep-fried burrito. As the name suggests, chimichangas are deep-fried tortillas.
There is a theory that chimichangas were accidentally created when a wrapped burrito that contained savory filling fell into a pan that contained hot oil.
Consequently, the burrito were prepared by deep frying the soft tortilla until it became golden brown and ended up being crispy on the outside, but the filling inside remained juicy.
Burritos are also served rolled up in aluminum foil.
This accidental discovery resulted in chimichangas, a popular street cuisine that most people enjoy during lunch and dinner alike. They are said to have originated from Arizona in the United States of America.
Currently, chimichangas contain various ingredients including tomato salsa, grated cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, and seasoned minced meat.
The best way to enjoy chimichanga is serve it hot alongside sour cream. It is usually crispy on the outside and the filling inside is usually juicy.
The two characteristics combined will satisfy your taste buds. Dip the chimichanga in sour cream for an enhanced flavor.
Key Differences between the two
There are several differences between chimichangas and the traditional burrito.
They include; the method of cooking, fillings inside the wraps, the serving method, origin, texture, and nutrition.
Method of cooking
Chimichangas and burritos are cooked differently. Burritos are fresh wraps filled with different ingredients including minced meat, cheese, filling of beans, salsa, and guacamole among others making it a delicious meal.
On the other hand, chimichangas are deep-fried, hence have a crispy outer layer.
Compared to burritos, the filling in chimichangas is usually meatier and spicier. Most burritos have less meat since beans are considered their main protein source.
If you are a meat lover, the chances are that you will enjoy chimichangas more since they contain a lot of meat. You’ll also enjoy them if you love spicy dishes. Burritos are more ideal for those who enjoy mild flavors.
Chimichangas and burritos are served differently. Normally, people serve chimichangas on a plate with side dishes.
Most times, chimichangas are topped with melted cheese or sauces such as enchilada sauce, so you will need to use a fork and knife to eat them comfortably.
On the other hand, burritos are served like rolled sandwiches, usually wrapped in foil, so all you have to do is pick it up and bite into it the same way you would a sandwich.
Burritos originated from Mexico, specifically the Northern part of Mexico while chimichangas originated from Arizona in the United States of America.
Both chimichangas and burritos are now popular in most parts of the world.
Chimichangas have a crispy texture because they are deep-fried while burritos have a soft texture because they are not deep-fried.
In terms of nutrition, burritos may be healthier compared to chimichangas if you use ingredients that have a high nutritional value.
The beans in burritos contain fiber which plays a significant role in lowering the body’s cholesterol levels.
In comparison, chimichangas are not too healthy since they contain approximately 1500 calories per serving. They are deep-fried and topped with sauces, guacamole, or sour cream.
Which of the two is an authentic Mexican dish?
By now, you probably already know that burritos are an authentic Mexican dish. Chimichangas are not necessarily Mexican because they originated in Arizona. They are made by deep-frying burritos that have a savory filling.
Although there is a debate about the exact origin of burritos, it is an authentic Mexican food. The original burrito consisted of a corn tortilla wrap that had minced meat, beans, and rice as the primary fillings.
Both burritos and chimichangas are found in Mexican restaurants, but the authentic Mexican dish is burritos.
Chimichangas and burritos have several similarities, especially in fillings, so it is no surprise that people easily mistake one for the other.
The biggest difference between the two is that burritos consist of fresh tortilla wraps that contain several ingredients inside them while chimichangas are deep-fried burritos that you serve alongside a sauce making them a sought of wet burrito.
Other notable differences are the fillings, serving method, origin, texture, and nutritional value.
If you had a problem differentiating chimichangas and burritos, I hope you can now easily tell the differences between the two.