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Burritos are a popular staple at Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants. They can be filled with just about anything, from beef and beans to corn and rice. There are also many types of burrito wraps, such as large flour tortillas, small flour tortillas, low-carb tortillas, and gluten-free tortillas. Knowing the difference can help diners choose the type best suited to their needs.
Among the most commonly-used burrito wraps are large flour tortillas. These have been used in the Americas since Spanish explorers introduced wheat flour to the New World, though corn tortillas were used before that. While the standard supermarket size for “burrito-style” tortillas is 12 inches (about 20 centimeters), restaurants, which often sell large or “overstuffed” burritos may use tortillas as large as 16 inches (about 40 centimeters). These tortillas are traditionally made with lard. Versions made with vegetable shortening are available for those who choose to avoid eating animal products.
Six inch (15 centimeter) flour tortillas are also sometimes used as burrito wraps. Though these are often marketed as “taco-sized,” they are also good for making smaller burritos. Small portion size can be an advantage for those who have limited space in a lunch pail or who are looking to drop a few pounds. This wrap’s small size may also be a good choice when feeding children, who generally require smaller quantities of food than adults.
Burrito wraps also come in low-carb versions. These tortillas are not just for those following low-carbohydrate diet plans. They also have some health advantages. Low-carb tortillas are more likely than their standard flour counterparts to be made with high-fiber whole grain. They may also contain high-protein flours such as soy flour, making them a good choice for those who have blood sugar control issues, as protein helps keep blood sugar levels steady.
Finally, burrito wraps are also available for those who cannot consume gluten. Gluten-free tortillas are made from flours other than wheat, barley, and rye, all of which contain a naturally-occurring protein food scientists call gluten. While those who are allergic to gluten, or have milder gluten sensitivities, need to choose this type of wrap in order to stay healthy, these wraps also have health benefits for the general population. They are usually made of whole grain, such as whole grain rice flour. A diet rich in fiber can help prevent heart disease and other serious health conditions.