In a previous post, we saw how birria conquered the internet and became a social media sensation. But when was birria invented? Keep reading to discover this and other interesting facts about birria.
What Is Birria?
Birria is a slow-cook goat stew where the meat is bathed in a spicy sauce made with ingredients such as chile ancho, chile guajillo, garlic, pepper, oregano, clover, cilantro, and cumin.
It has been established almost beyond doubt that birria was invented in the state of Jalisco (western Mexico) as a way to deal with the growing population of goats.
While traditional birria is made exclusively with goat meat, the popularity of this dish has taken it to areas of Mexico and the United States where goats aren’t as common, resulting in versions where goat is substituted for beef or even chicken.
When Was Birria Invented?
In the previous section we got a glimpse of the history of birria.
This stew was invented almost certainly in Jalisco, where it quickly became one of the most iconic dishes in a state already packed with emblematic symbols of Mexican culture like tequila and mariachi.
As is often the case with food, it is almost impossible to give a precise date for the invention of birria. However, historical sources can provide us with a ballpark idea. All signs point to birria having been invented in the 1600s. Let’s see why.
Goats were introduced to Mexico by Spanish conquistadors, so we can tell with certainty that birria was created after 1519, the year when Hernan Cortes first arrived in Mexico.
According to the most accredited version about the origins of birria, the goat population in Jalisco was expanding but the conquistadors thought that goat meat was useless, so they gifted goats to the indigenous population (in Spanish the word “birria” means “useless or worthless thing”).
To the surprise of the conquistadors, the people of Jalisco found a way to make good use of the goat meat.
If there’s some truth to this old story, that would place the invention of birria somewhere in the 1600s, the century when most of the towns in Jalisco were founded.
El Pollo Norteño: Authentic Mexican Food
Craving authentic Mexican food made with fresh ingredients and traditional sazón? El Pollo Norteño has you covered!
Visit any of our four locations (Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Garden Grove), order online, get in touch through Facebook, or call 866-MI-POLLO to enjoy our authentic Mexican dishes: amazing chicken grilled to perfection over real Mesquite charcoal, caldo de pollo, flan, carnitas, carne asada, and more!