What Does Bolillo Mean?

Discover the history and uses of the bolillo in Mexican cuisine. Learn why this bread roll is a staple in dishes like tortas and tacos.

Understanding the Bolillo

The Bolillo is a type of bread roll that is popular in Mexican cuisine. It is a traditional bread that is commonly used in dishes such as tortas, sandwiches, and as a side to meals. The word ‘bolillo’ itself has an interesting history and meaning.

Etymology of Bolillo

The term ‘bolillo’ comes from the Spanish word ‘bollo’, which refers to a type of round bread roll that is typically crusty on the outside. It is believed that the bolillo was introduced to Mexico during the French occupation in the 1860s. The name stuck, and today, the bolillo is a staple in Mexican bakeries.

Characteristics of Bolillo

The bolillo is characterized by its crusty exterior and soft interior. It is similar in texture to French baguettes but shorter and thicker. The crust is crunchy, while the inside is fluffy and perfect for soaking up sauces and juices.

Uses of Bolillo

Bolillos are versatile bread rolls that can be used in a variety of dishes. They are commonly used to make tortas, which are Mexican sandwiches filled with meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Bolillos are also served alongside meals to sop up sauces and gravies.

Popular Bolillo Dishes

  • Torta de Jamón: A Mexican sandwich made with bolillo bread, ham, cheese, avocado, and jalapeños.
  • Molletes: Open-faced sandwiches made with bolillo bread, refried beans, cheese, and salsa.
  • Tacos de Pescado: Fish tacos served on bolillo rolls with cabbage slaw and chipotle mayo.


The bolillo is a beloved bread roll in Mexican cuisine, known for its crusty exterior and soft interior. Its versatility makes it a popular choice for a variety of dishes, from tortas to tacos. Next time you’re at a Mexican restaurant, be sure to try a dish featuring the delicious bolillo!

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