Science Questions with Surprising Answers
Answers provided by
Dr. Christopher S. Baird

Why are refried beans cooked twice?

Category: Society      Published: November 17, 2012

By: Christopher S. Baird, author of The Top 50 Science Questions with Surprising Answers and Associate Professor of Physics at West Texas A&M University

Refried beans are not cooked twice; they are only cooked once. According to the book "American Regional Cuisine" by The Art Institutes, this misnomer results from the fact that that the prefix "re-" means "very" in Spanish, but Americans misunderstand it to mean "again". The name "refritos" therefore means "very fried" and not "refried". Refried beans were introduced commercially in America in the 1930s by the Mountain Pass Canning Company founded in New Mexico, as chronicled in the book "Taco USA" by Gustavo Arellano.

Topics: food, refried beans