Mexican cuisine is beloved all over the world because of its versatility, flavor, and convenience. Two of the most popular Mexican dishes are the soft taco and the burrito. They are so well-liked that it is common to see them both on the menu of restaurants and fast food chains worldwide.
If you enjoy Mexican food, you would have come across these two dishes at some point in time. The question is, how are they different, and which one is better?
What to know about soft taco vs. burrito? For those who want to eat on the go without making a mess, opt for the portable burrito. If you’re looking for meals that are loaded with flavors and different textures, soft tacos are the ideal fit. Both options can be healthy and nutritious if you choose the right ingredients.
In this blog post, we will find out the differences between soft tacos and burritos.
What is a Soft Shell Taco?
Tacos are a staple food in Mexican cuisine, and you can find them almost anywhere in the world. From classic hard-shell tacos to foldable flour tortillas, there are so many different versions of tacos available.
One of the most popular variations is the soft-shell taco, which has become a favorite in recent years. Soft shell tacos are named after their signature ingredient – the soft tortilla. Unlike hard-shell tacos, which use crispy corn tortillas, soft-shell tacos use a soft flour tortilla.
The tortilla is usually heated on a grill or in a skillet, making it slightly crispy on the outside yet pillowy on the inside. This texture combination is what makes soft shell tacos so irresistible.
While soft shell tacos are incredibly popular now, it’s interesting to know that it wasn’t always the case.
Traditional tacos in Mexico were prepared with hard shell tortillas. It wasn’t until the 1960s that soft shell tacos gained popularity in the United States and evolved into the delicious dish we enjoy today.
One of the most significant benefits of soft-shell tacos is their versatility. They can be filled with a range of ingredients, making them ideal for all kinds of dietary needs.
From vegetarians to meat lovers, soft shell tacos offer something for everyone. Some popular soft-shell taco fillings include grilled chicken, carne asada, and even shrimp.
Another benefit of soft shell tacos is their convenience. They are easy to eat on the go, making them perfect for busy professionals or anyone who wants a quick, delicious meal. You can also find soft-shell tacos in most Mexican restaurants, food trucks, and even grocery stores.
Finally, soft shell tacos are incredibly easy to make at home. All you need is some tortillas, some filling, and some toppings like salsa, guacamole, or cheese.
You can also experiment with different combinations depending on what you have in your pantry or fridge. They are perfect for weeknight dinners or last-minute get-togethers with friends.
What is a Burrito?
Every now and then, we come across delicacies or dishes that we simply can’t resist. One such dish that has taken the world by storm is the burrito. Whether it’s quick bites while on the go or a wholesome meal at a leading Mexican restaurant, burritos are everywhere.
When it comes to describing a burrito, it’s quite simple – it’s a tortilla stuffed with fillings, usually meats, beans, cheese, and rice. Additionally, it may also be garnished with guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and other ingredients.
Speaking of its origin, burritos’ history has its roots in a neighboring country – Mexico. It’s believed that burritos were first made in Northern Mexico over a hundred years ago.
The ‘burrito’ name comes from the Spanish language and is translated to ‘little donkey.’ While there is no clear explanation of how it came to be named this way, some theories suggest that it could have been because the filling resembles ‘saddlebags’ carried by donkeys.
Initially, burritos weren’t as widespread as they are today. However, in the 1930s, their popularity grew rapidly due to new trade routes, migrant workers, and an increase in Mexican restaurants in the United States.
During the ’80s and early ’90s, franchised burrito restaurants took hold and popularized the wrap beyond the traditional Mexican community.
Today, burritos are a fan-favorite across the world & have hundreds of variations in terms of fillings, seasonings, and presentation. They can even be found frozen and ready to be microwaved at grocery stores across the US!
One of the countless reasons for burritos’ popularity is their convenience and relative simplicity. It’s not too hard to stuff your fillings into a tortilla and create a Mexican masterpiece of your own.
Moreover, burritos are a great way to consume numerous food groups with one meal. One can find variations in the size and contents of burritos, such as super-sized burritos that are enough for two people and small ones that serve as perfect snacks.
Soft Tacos and Burritos – Similarities
Although soft shell tacos and burritos look and taste different, both of these delicacies are more similar than you might think. Let’s discover what makes these two dishes so alike.
1. The Tortilla:
One of the most noticeable similarities between soft shell tacos and burritos is their primary ingredient: the tortilla.
Both tacos and burritos use tortillas as their base, but the difference lies in the size and texture. Soft shell tacos are smaller in size and made from soft flour or corn tortillas.
On the other hand, burritos are larger and typically prepared with flour tortillas that are thicker than those used for tacos.
2. The Filling:
Another similarity between tacos and burritos is the variety of fillings they can have. From savory meats like chicken, beef, and pork to vegetarian options like beans, rice, and vegetables, both of these dishes offer endless possibilities for customization.
Plus, you can add your favorite toppings like salsa, sour cream, and guacamole to further enhance their taste.
3. The Preparation:
When it comes to preparation, both soft-shell tacos and burritos are relatively quick and easy to make. They both involve filling the tortilla with the desired ingredients and then rolling it up.
However, burritos require a bit more finesse than tacos since the tortilla needs to be fully wrapped around the filling, whereas tacos are simply folded in half.
4. The Versatility:
Both tacos and burritos can be served at any time of the day, making them a versatile meal option.
You can have tacos for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and the same goes for burritos. Plus, you can explore different flavors and cuisines by tweaking the filling and toppings to suit your preferences.
Soft Taco vs. Burrito – What Are the Differences?
Having learned about the similarities between soft shell tacos and burritos, you may wonder about the differences.
1. Size and structure
One of the most obvious differences between soft tacos and burritos is their size and shape. Soft tacos are smaller in size and are made with a soft tortilla shell, while burritos are larger and are made with a flour tortilla shell.
Soft tacos typically contain a filling of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa, while burritos can have many ingredients, including a combination of meat, rice, beans, cheese, and veggies.
A burrito’s larger size allows for more extensive fillings, while a soft taco’s smaller size makes it easier to eat on the go.
If you’re always on the go and looking for a quick meal, you might want to consider a burrito over a soft taco. Burritos are much easier to travel with than burritos as they are smaller and can be easily eaten with one hand.
Soft tacos can be messy to eat on the go, and you might need both hands to hold it in place while you eat. Soft tacos are preferred for street food, while burritos are considered more of a sit-down meal.
If you’re counting calories, the nutritional difference between a burrito and a soft taco is worth considering. As we have established earlier, burritos tend to be more massive than soft tacos and can have more substantial ingredients.
This translates to more calories as well. If you are looking for a healthier meal, the soft taco might be a better option for you. It is lighter and typically has a more moderate filling.
Both burritos and soft tacos can come with endless filling options, which makes them exciting to have. Burritos tend to have more substantial ingredients, making them ideal for a meal that’s loaded with flavors and textures.
Soft tacos are great as quick snacks or appetizers, allowing people to eat as many or as few as they would like.
This is perhaps the most critical factor in deciding between a burrito and a soft taco. Burritos come packed with ingredients, giving them a unique, robust flavor that excites the palate.
Soft tacos are smaller, which means they have less filling than burritos – but with properly seasoned meat, plenty of fresh vegetables, and delicious salsas— soft tacos deliver excellent flavor in every light bite.