Refried beans came to us from Mexico, but it has both an American and European origination. The dish is made from boiled, mashed pinto beans that are fried in lard. The lard (fat) came from pigs brought over to the Americas by European explorers and conquerors. Contrary to its name, refried beans really aren't fried twice. The English name is a mistranslation of the Spanish name frijoles refritos, which basically means well-fried beans.