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I was in a Mexican restaurant with some co-workers recently and noticed that many of them ordered a "burrito." What's the difference between this and a tortilla? I thought that's what they were called.

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Funny trivia: "burrito" == "little donkey" –  Sobachatina Nov 5 '10 at 18:25
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burrito : tortilla :: sandwich : bread –  Jared Updike Nov 5 '10 at 22:56
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3 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Depending on where you are, the word tortilla can mean a few different things. In Mexico it refers to a flatbread made of either wheat or corn and a few other ingredients. These flatbreads tend to come in standard sizes in the United States at least, one of which might be labeled the "burrito" size.

A burrito is one use for a tortilla. A burrito consists of a wheat flour tortilla wrapped around a filling. Often the filling might include beans, cooked meat, rice, and perhaps vegetables.

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It seems to me the more authentic the Mexican food the more likely you can order tortillas as you would any other side. –  Sobachatina Nov 5 '10 at 18:24
    
Oh. Well that's very interesting. –  James Slagel Nov 9 '10 at 13:55
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A burrito is usually wrapped in a (flour) tortilla. Tortilla is just the bread; burrito, taco, fajita, etc. is how you use it/what you put in it.

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Tortilla is flatbread, burrito is what you do with it.

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