What Is a Taquito?

Many people associate the taquito with the convenience store 7-Eleven. Rolling in their heaters next to glistening hot dogs, they might seem unappealing. But the reality is that Sporked ranked them as one of the best hot foods you can get at 7-Eleven. And the taquito goes far beyond just that. But what are taquitos, exactly? Let’s roll up some answers. 

What is a taquito?

In the early 20th century, as Tex-Mex cuisine really began to take off in America, the word “taquito” started to appear. There are two California restaurants that are often credited with its creation: Cielito Lindo in 1934 Los Angeles and the El Indio Mexican Restaurant in 1940s San Diego. 

The term taquito has commercially been applied to a wide variety of regional foods, but the basic formula is a tortilla, usually corn, that is filled with meat and cheese, rolled into a cigar shape, then fried, sealing the tortilla shut and keeping the fillings inside. It’s almost like a taco-flavored cannoli. 

Frozen taquitos hit the market in 1976 and they have expanded to be one of the top frozen appetizers you can find in most grocery store frozen aisles.

What does taquito mean?

In Spanish, the word translates to “little taco.” 

Are taquitos gluten free?

As always, gluten is very tricky. While taquitos are often made with corn tortillas that are gluten free, they may also be made with flour tortillas. Also, a lot of spice mixes and marinades have secret gluten in them. If you are eyeing taquitos at a grocery store or 7-Eleven, check your labels.

What’s the difference between flautas and taquitos?

On the surface, a flauta and a taquito seem like the same thing; both are rolled and filled tortillas that are deep fried. But there are some differences when it comes down to flauta vs taquito.

The flauta—meaning “flute” in Spanish—is traditionally made with a larger tortilla, the kind you would use for a burrito or quesadilla. Think of the flauta as the flute and the taquito as the piccolo of the culinary world. Flautas are longer and thinner than taquitos, and they are more likely to be served as your main course as opposed to an appetizer.

The flauta tortilla can be corn or flour, whereas the taquito tortilla is almost always corn, and the fillings can be the same across the board. However, because flautas are larger, they can hold shredded meats better, while taquito meats tend to be ground.

About the Author

Luke Field

Luke Field is a writer and actor originally from Philadelphia. He was the former Head Writer of branded content at CollegeHumor and was also a contributing writer and actor to the CollegeHumor Originals cast. He has extensive improv and sketch stage experience, performing both at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and with their Touring Company. In addition to writing, he also works as a Story Producer, most recently on season 4 of Accident, Suicide, or Murder on Oxygen. Keep your eyes peeled for his brief but impactful appearance as Kevin, the screaming security guard, in the upcoming feature The Disruptors, directed by Adam Frucci.

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