Chilaquiles History

A Historical Meal that Invokes a lot of Emotion

Chilaquiles is an authentic Mexican meal that originated in 1898 and is still a staple for many families today. In its most basic form, Chilaquiles consist of fried tortilla strips that are simmered in salsa or mole to soften them up. It is a very versatile dish but it is most commonly served for breakfast or brunch.



Depending on where you are located, will greatly determine the type of Chilaquiles you eat. For instance, in Mexico City, the tortillas get simmered in green tomatillo sauce. However, in Central Mexico, crispy tortilla chips are preferred. Therefore, they do not simmer the tortillas in salsa, but rather pour the salsa over the chips right before they are severed.

The owner of San Jose’s Original, Zenovio, recently recounted his childhood when his mother used to make Chilaquiles. Zenovio said that his mother usually made tortillas for breakfast. If there were any leftover pieces, she would then take them outside and lay them in the sun to dry out. If she made tortillas at lunch or dinner, any leftovers would also be set out to dry.

Once the tortillas were dried up, she would crunch them up into a pan and add some broth (sometimes, even chicken too!). On top, she would put salsa and cheese. They used this as a meal or side dish, snack or even served for breakfast with eggs on top.

Have you ever eaten Chilaquiles at San Jose’s Original or growing up? Comment below with your memories of this dish, we’d love to hear from you!