Vegan MoFo 2015: Day 28 – Tacos vs. Burritos

Vegan MoFo has been a great study in how my attention, prioritisation and motivation work.
Vegan MoFo 2015

When trying to draft a few posts in advance in August, I jumped on some prompts eagerly and finished them in one breath with a flourish, whereas some started out enthusiastically and then got painstakingly dragged out in quarter-hour increments.

Others still, despite scanning through the list regularly, managed to sneak up on me – and then you have today’s prompt:

“Tacos vs. burritos. Where do you stand on this important issue?”

Day 28 has smirked at me from its space on the bottom of the list all month, and yet as I write this today I’m still not entirely sure which way I’m going to go. Indeed, like all Important Issues, nothing is ever black or white – and the more you think about it and analyse it (oh, there is a lot to be analysed in this debate, you’ll see), the greyer the issue becomes.

So, without further ado, The Great Taco vs. Burrito Debate (first broadcast in Claire’s mind)!

Blue corn tortillas

Phase One

“I just don’t get tacos”

I can’t quite remember whether my first something-wrapped-in-tortilla meal with Ben was at Chipotle or Lupita, though I’d venture a guess at Chipotle as we are less “romantic first date” people and more “stuff a burrito in your face with someone you don’t know very well” people. Well, I am anyway. Ben might have been into the romantic thing.

What I do remember though, is having Ben explain to me the benefits of a taco. “You get more filling with a burrito; you get more tortilla with a taco,” he told me. Well, why on earth would you want less oozy gooey carby filling? I wondered, perhaps naively.

I like my food big, and burritos tick that box fair and square. Burritos 1 – 0 Tacos.

Phase Two

Burrito of all trades, tacos of one?

Forgive me for being coarse, but I don’t really care what goes in a burrito. Rice, beans, peppers, guac – that’s usually the only option I get but if there are mushrooms or whatever else to be had, it rarely makes much of a difference when it’s all wrapped up snug.

Tacos, on the other hand, tend to offer more filling variety, and certainly lend themselves to mixing and matching. But whilst the cast of the burrito is made up of equally important supporting actors, tacos let their little starlet shine… unless that star filling is less than stellar. Then you just have a bit of dry tortilla with a bit of garnish, and if your pals are stuffing their faces with burritos then you will have a major case of food envy (and maybe a bit of hanger).

Phase Three

“Tacos are so much more fun!”

Having made the above statements, it is usually so much more fun and sociable and enjoyable to have a variety of small plates to pick at, as anyone who has ever enjoyed tapas or meze will know.

Plus, since you can’t really just grab a serving of tacos as you run onto your train on your way home from work, they sort of demand that you sit down and pay due care and attention to the feeding process. It would only be a slight leap in logic to state that tacos therefore facilitate social bonds, which have been associated with increased longevity (as have plant-based diets, so keep those tacos vegan!).


So on the one hand you have the reliable burrito: it rarely lets you down, what you see is what you get, and you can always count on being full. No cheese, no sour cream, no problem: the other ingredients will happily share their ooziness. Plus, you know that one serving = one burrito, so no awkward “Should I order more?” moments, nor the mildly embarrassing last-minute clearing of the table for the arrival of two or three plates just for you. Burritos are solid.

But on the other hand, you have your fun friend the taco: mix and match all the fillings you can’t choose between and still have room for dessert, and no strings attached – just order as you go, so reorder what you loved or leave it and move on if it’s not hitting the spot. Share with your friends and make a mess. But beware the under-filled, under-seasoned taco that results in a mouthful of dry tortilla!

As with any Important (and Controversial) Issue, there is more than one answer, and in this case it will very according to everyone’s individual circumstances:

  • when on the go: burritos
  • when at home or with company: tacos
  • when super hungry: burritos, obviously
  • when peckish: tacos
  • when faced with few filling options: burritos
  • when you can’t pick between filling options: tacos
  • when dessert is not available: burritos
  • when dessert is available: tacos

Looks like a pretty even split to me – and why shouldn’t it be? There is plenty tortilla love to go round!

Side note: The above only applies to soft tacos. Crispy shell tacos just make no sense to me at all ever. /controversy