Refried beans are actually fried only one time, although many people believe that their name implies that they have been fried more than once. Their name, however, is thought to come from the Spanish word refritos, which translates to “well-fried,” rather than meaning that they have been fried and then fried again, or "re-fried." The dish traditionally is prepared by cooking beans, often pinto beans, in two ways. They typically are boiled in water until the beans are softened, and then they are mashed before being fried in lard. Occasionally, the mashed beans might be served as they are or baked instead of fried, which means that some refried beans might never be fried at all.
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