Image by angela pham


Carnitas is a Mexican dish made from pork that has been cooked in lard and then braised. It's popular in several other countries as well.


There are several types of carnitas, but the most popular are made with pork shoulder, although you can also make it with chicken or beef.

The origin of the dish is unclear, but it has been around for centuries. The word "carnitas" means "little meats" in Spanish, so it was probably named because it was little bits of meat that were fried or roasted in grease or oil.

Carnitas was first eaten by the Aztecs and Mayans, who would use it as an important part of their diet and culture. In fact, some believe that carnitas can be traced back to ancient Egypt!

The origin of Carnitas

Carnitas is a dish that originated in Mexico. It is made from shredded pork that has been braised, roasted, or fried until it is tender and juicy. The meat can be served in tacos, burritos, tamales, or tortas.

The word carnitas comes from the Latin carne, which means "meat" or "flesh," and the Spanish participle -ito, which means "little." The word literally translates to "little pieces of meat."

FAQs about Carnitas

How do Mexicans eat carnitas?

Carnitas can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. They are often served as tacos, with fresh ingredients such as diced onion, cilantro, lime, jalapeño, and salsa. They can also be served on tostadas, with melted cheese, or over rice and beans. They can also be used as a filling for enchiladas, burritos, tamales, and empanadas.

What is carnitas vs Al Pastor?

Carnitas is a Mexican dish made with slow-cooked pork. The pork is usually marinated in a citrus-based marinade and can be served with a variety of accompaniments like salsa, guacamole, and warm tortillas.

Al pastor is also a Mexican dish, but it is made with pork that has been thinly sliced, marinated in achiote paste, and then cooked on a vertical spit called a trompo. Typically the pork is accompanied by fresh pineapple and red onion, along with warm tortillas.

What is the difference between pulled pork and carnitas?

Pulled pork is a slow-cooked pork shoulder, usually cooked in a slow cooker or oven and then shredded with two forks. It is typically seasoned with a dry rub or marinade and served as a sandwich, tacos, or other dish. Carnitas, on the other hand, are braised or simmered pork shoulder cubes that are cooked until tender and golden then pulled or chopped into smaller pieces. Unlike pulled pork, carnitas are usually fried after cooking to create a crispy outside texture.

What type of meat is carnitas?

Carnitas is a dish of Mexican cuisine originating from the state of Michoacán. It typically consists of pork, slow-cooked in lard until soft and shredded, resulting in moist and tender cubes of pork.

Types of Carnitas

Carnitas are typically made with pork shoulder or butt roast that has been marinated in citrus juice and spices like garlic and cumin before being cooked. Some recipes call for the meat to be boiled first before it's roasted in a frying pan or slow-cooker. In some regions of Mexico, carnitas are seasoned with chile peppers and bay leaves.