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What Are Duros?

Jane Lapham
Jane Lapham

Duros are a crunchy Mexican snack food eaten with toppings such as lime juice, hot sauce, cinnamon sugar, or cheese. They resemble uncooked pasta before they are cooked, and puff up into a light and airy snack after being deep-fried or heated in a microwave. The main ingredients of duros are flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. Duros are often shaped like wagon wheels, but they can also be found in shapes such as triangles or strips. In some regions of Mexico and the United States, street vendors sell pre-cooked duros out of vending carts.

Depending on language and region, duros may also be called durros, duritos, or pasta para duros. Although many people believe they are a form of pork rind, they are actually made of flour. Most often, the flour used to make them is wheat flour. Duros are sold in bulk form in many Mexican markets, and are usually available over the Internet for regions where Mexican food products are scarce.

Duros are a crunchy Mexican snack food that puffs up into a light and airy snack after being heated in a microwave.
Duros are a crunchy Mexican snack food that puffs up into a light and airy snack after being heated in a microwave.

Before being cooked, duros are small, hard, and resemble dark pasta. The traditional cooking process involves deep frying them in oil and then laying them out to rest on a stack of paper towels so that the excess cooking oil can drain before they are eaten. Some people cook them in a microwave instead. Whichever method is used, on being cooked, the snacks will puff up to three or four times their original size and become airy and lighter in color.

After being cooked and drained, duros are usually topped with ingredients that are salty, spicy, or sweet. Some people like to use all three flavors at once. The toppings chosen depend on personal preference, and some toppings may be more popular in certain regions than others. The most widely recognized traditional topping for this crunchy Mexican snack food is a mixture of chili sauce and lime juice. Another popular topping variety is a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, which results in a sweet treat instead of a spicy one.

In some regions of Mexico and the United States, street vendors sell duros out of carts. The vendors usually cook the snacks at home and pre-package them in large, clear plastic bags. When they sell a bag, they offer the customer a choice of toppings. After adding the toppings to the bag, they then seal the bag and shake it vigorously to distribute the toppings evenly.

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Discussion Comments


I stopped at the first line of the article and was greatly intrigued... what food item could possibly go with cinnamon, lime juice, hot sauce, or cheese?

Not even bread goes with all of those!

Upon finishing the article, I have gotta say that I would like to try one, and maybe it is my funnel cake background and seeing that duros were also fried - but I would love one with the cinnamon sugar topping!

I will have to look on the menu at our favorite Mexican restaurant the next time I am there to see if they have any for me to try.


I deep-fry my duros so that they are extra crunchy. Microwaving them can make them soggy sometimes. I like to have that crisp, golden exterior.

I make a big batch of duros and then separate them into different bowls so that I can have multiple flavors. I stir pizza sauce into one bowl of duros to make them taste like little pinwheel pizza crusts. These are messy to eat but delicious.

In another bowl, I will squirt some lime juice and sprinkle some cumin over the duros. This gives them that signature fajita flavor.

In the last bowl, I sprinkle powdered sugar. This makes the duros taste like doughnuts or funnel cakes.


I was a strange child who liked to eat things plain and bland. I could eat a big bowlful of duros with no topping whatsoever. I didn’t like cheese, which is what my friends topped theirs with, so usually, I had no other choice anyway.

As I grew older, my tastes expanded to include more flavorful spices and herbs. I ate at a Mexican restaurant and loved it. So, I decided to try some spicy duros for a change.

I coated them with cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic, and salt. They were wonderful! The intense flavor made me want to eat more of them than would comfortably fit in my stomach.


The prepackaged wagon wheel duros always reminded me of tomato slices because of their shape. Maybe that’s why I always ate them with pico de gallo, which is a topping made from tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, cumin, salt, and pepper. Since I had never tried them with anything else, I just assumed the duros were tomato flavored when eaten by themselves.

Then I tried the sweet version at a carnival. These were brushed with honey and coated in cinnamon and sugar. They were addictive! I didn’t mean to, but I ate the entire bag while I walked around the grounds.


My grandmother was born in Mexico and lived most of her life there. She made incredible traditional duros and she would always make a big batch when my sister and I would go and visit her.

She would usually time it so that the duros finished cooking right before we got there. We would run into her house, give her a big hug and then run straight to the kitchen to get a handful of the still warm duros.

Her recipe was incredible, unlike any other duro I've ever had. She taught it to my mom but they are just not the same.


There is a great Mexican restaurant close to my house that is famous for their duros. In every way they are a pretty typical taqueria type of restaurant except that they serve every kind of duros imaginable.

They have all the traditional ones with chile or lime or cinnamon. But they also have lots of exotic flavors. They kind of treat the duro like a potatoe chip, which is to say that it is just a vessel that you can put almost any flavoring on to.

They have a chocolate duro, a curry duro, a thai inspired duro and even a bacon duro amongst many others. Not all of them are great ideas but there are so many that you are bound to find one you like.


My city has a large Mexican population and every May 5th there is a huge Cinco De Mayo celebration. I look forward to this day all year long because it is nothing but great music, great food and lots of people having a good time.

But when I'm honest with myself I think I look forward to the food the most. There is just so much great stuff to eat. I know that there are at least a few stands that sell duros and you can get them any way you want, sweet, savory or salty.

I think my idea of a perfect day might be sitting back with the sun on my face, drinking a corona, eating a handful of spicy duros and listening to some great Latin music. I can't wait for May to come

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    • Duros are a crunchy Mexican snack food that puffs up into a light and airy snack after being heated in a microwave.
      By: Michael Pettigrew
      Duros are a crunchy Mexican snack food that puffs up into a light and airy snack after being heated in a microwave.