Bloomberg Línea — Around the world, Easter is a holiday for many people, but there is another date for the calendar this month: April 6 is National Burrito Day in the US, celebrating a dish that crossed the border from Mexico and has become one of the most popular snacks in the country.
According to data compiled by Statista, in 2022, nachos were the most popular Mexican dish in the United States, with 79% of the preference, and burritos were tied in second place with chili sauce, with 77% each.
The burrito season begins between March and May, and chains such as Mexican grill Chipotle are forced to increase the number of employees to meet the high demand.
Among the largest Mexican food chains by revenue in the United States are Taco Bell, Chipotle, El Pollo Loco, Qdoba, Del Taco and Moe’s Southwest Grill, according to Statista’s 2017 data.
Not only did popular clamor elevate this food to a favorite, by consulting AI Chat GPT, the burrito is highlighted as a popular food particularly in southwestern states such as California, Texas and Arizona.
Evolution of the burrito
The word burrito first appeared in the ‘Diccionario de mexicanismos’ in 1895 and its definition is: “a rolled tortilla, with meat or other food inside”. But before reaching the US, burritos originated in Guanajuato and Guerrero states. The first recipes appeared in 1934 in Erna Fergusson’s ‘Mexican Cookbook’.
Mexican burritos are traditionally filled with meat and beans, but can also contain other ingredients, such as seafood.
Then came the frozen ones in 1964, known as chimichangas. Later, they were included in breakfast (1975) by Tia Sophia’s in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This burrito is a tortilla filled with bacon, potatoes, chile and cheese.
Economy, culture and versatility
According to ChatGPT, there are several reasons why burritos have become so popular in the US:
- Convenience: Burritos are easy to eat on-the-go and can be eaten with one hand. They are also easy to transport and make a great meal for people who are on the go.
- Diversity: Burritos can be made with a variety of fillings, including beans, rice, cheese, meat, and vegetables, making them a versatile and customizable meal option.
- Cultural significance: Burritos are a part of Mexican cuisine and are considered a staple food in many regions of Mexico. With the growing Hispanic population in the US, burritos have become a popular way to celebrate and showcase Mexican culture.
- Economic value: Burritos are often affordable and can be found at fast-food chains and casual dining restaurants across the country, making them accessible to people from all walks of life.
Overall, burritos have become an important part of the American culinary landscape, representing convenience, diversity, cultural significance, and economic value.