The History of Birria

Birria is a Mexican dish from the state of Jalisco. It is most authentically made with goat meat.

When Hernan Cortes and the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area that would become modern-day Mexico, they brought with them European livestock, including goats. However, the goats they brought with them soon started reproducing at an alarmingly rapid rate and the Spanish invaders found themselves with more goats than they knew what to do with.

The Spanish were said to not enjoy eating goat meat because of its strong, gamey flavor and tough texture. To solve this problem, the Spanish started cooking the goat meat with many spices at low temperature for a long time - and invented birria.

As birria traveled north through Mexico, it was transformed. Street vendors in Tijuana swapped out the goat meat to make Tijuana-style birria de res (beef birria). They put it in tortillas to make portable birria tacos. This is how birria tacos were invented!