Burritos are Mexican foods that consist of folded flour tortillas and some type of filling. The cheese burrito is so named because its filling consists primarily of cheese. Both melted and shredded cheeses may be used in these foods.
The outer portion of a cheese burrito is composed from wheat flour. This substance makes a flat, round edible known as a tortilla. In general, the tortilla is soft and chewy. It may be served as is, but for burritos it is usually wrapped around other foods. This process works by placing a substance like meat or beans on top of the tortilla, and then rolling the tortilla from one end to the other.
Various meats like beef and chicken can serve as a filling for burritos, but many consumers prefer a burrito filled only with cheese. In particular, those individuals desiring a vegetarian burrito or a breakfast burrito might opt for this cheesy variety. Shredded cheeses like Monterey jack cheese and cheddar cheese are popular options. Others prefer melted liquid cheeses such as queso blanco or nacho cheese.
Other ingredients may be added to the cheese burrito, making it a combination burrito. Sour cream, lettuce, and salsa are some common additives. Refried beans or meats could comprise part of the burrito as well, although a true cheese burrito will consist primarily or exclusively of cheese.
Variations of a cheese burrito exist. For one, the burrito might be prepared similar to an enchilada, with sauce and cheese poured atop the food. In addition, cooks could deep-fry the burrito, which makes for a chimichanga.
Simple preparations make the cheese burrito a relatively easy dish to create. For a homemade burrito, only the tortilla and cheese are needed. The cook may just warm the tortilla and pour or sprinkle the cheese on top of the tortilla. If additional ingredients like chili or beans are added, they are simply spread over the cheese. The finished product is then heated as needed.
Cheese burritos may share similarities with other Mexican favorites like enchiladas and tacos, but some key differences exist. All three foods are wrapped in tortillas, but both enchiladas and tacos are typically made from corn tortillas. Burritos, on the other hand, usually derive from flour tortillas. In addition, enchiladas are baked and nearly always have a sauce and cheese covering. While soft tacos may resemble a burrito somewhat, these foods are typically not available in cheese-only form and are only partially folded so that half the tortilla is open.
The history for the cheese burrito and its relatives dates back to Aztec civilizations. The first burrito-like foods were traced to these native Mexican peoples along with the Pueblos. In modern Mexico, burritos are served in restaurants and at road stands. Most varieties sold in Mexico, however, contain meat. As the food became a popular fixture in the cuisines of other nations, the exclusive cheese burrito soon gained popularity.