Burrito bars have taken the world by storm. Floury tortillas wrapped around feisty fillings shake up your takeaway routine like nobody's business. Burritos are ideal when you're craving something to get your teeth stuck into. But there's a new Mexican dish after the burrito's crown – taquitos. We take a look at the burrito's rise to popularity, and how taquitos are causing a stir on the Mexican food scene.
The classic: burrito
You've probably already had a love affair with the burrito. In its Mexican homeland, meat and refried beans are often the only fillings, but America went wild and pimped it right up, adding lime, rice, salsa, sour cream, cheese, salad and grilled peppers, creating the burrito we know and adore around the world.
The first burrito bar opened in the 1920s in LA, and now the burrito has replaced[VW3] the fajita as the Mexican hand-held staple of the street food world. It's also a popular go-to lunch option – way more interesting than your usual sandwich.
Just ask Qrito. They serve Californian-inspired Mexican food with bold kicks of chilli, fragrant hits of coriander and zesty twists of lime.
But, underneath Mexican food's uber-cool swagger, it's packed with goodness.. You've got slow-cooked tender cuts of lean meat sitting next to sunshine salads and vitamin-C rich peppers. Hearty rice soaking up tangy sauces and zingy dressings. Bright red tomato salsa with finely chopped cilantro and spicy jalapenos. And, of course, heart-healthy guacamole dollops everywhere.
But we're all guilty of getting stuck in a rut. We know there's comfort in familiarity – why put yourself out there when you've got that trusty old favourite that never lets you down? But like the path of true love, the more dishes you try, the more chance you'll find The One. Hey, it's science.
The alternative: taquito
First came the fajita. Then came the burrito. Now it's time to get your taquito on.
Taquito translates to 'small taco', but don't be disheartened by their size – bigger isn't always better. Taquitos are made using smaller tortillas, but they are served by the plateful, usually at least three to an order. They're structured much like burritos – rolled tortillas stuffed with fantastic fillings – but taquitos are then fried, giving them a crispy outer coating. Cover them in pepperjack cheese and sour cream, and enjoy every mouthful.
As with the burrito, braised beef cooked with garlic, chilli and cumin is one of the most popular fillings. Vegetarian varieties are big on roasted red and green peppers, and Qrito even offers up vegan versions, loaded with lactose-free cheese and spicy shreds of marinated soy. They're served up in plates of three or six – so why not get two platters, and mix up the fillings?
Taquitos take it up a notch
It's the contrast in textures that make taquitos something special. The crunch of the crisp corn tortilla contrasts with the tender filling. Chilli heat is cooled off with some silky sour cream or creamy guacamole – usually served on the side to make delicious dipping sauces for the main attraction. These little parcels of pleasure will make you wonder why you've never tried them before.
Bye-bye, burrito – there's a new cool kid in town.