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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mexican Pizza

So I now have had 3 authentic Mexican pizza experiences. One Mexican pizza in America, one American pizza in Mexico, and one American pizza with Mexican toppings. None of these may be great representations of the style of pizza they are trying to create but it shows there are definitely different examples of what Mexican pizza actually is.

Pizza is an interesting food, I don't have to tell anyone that. It is more than just the cheap, easy food that is delivered anywhere and everywhere in America. It has been shaped into so many things. When it started in Naples it was one thing, when it came to America it was another, after that it can be found in some version all over the world. Even within countries such as ours it varies depending on region, but yet it retains the name pizza no matter how drastic the changes. The definition of pizza is defined by the consumer, and depending on what the consumer eats the definition varies.
That being said, pizza really became the world wide success it is now only after it came to America. This country gobbled it up. When other countries saw how much pizza was loved here, or how successful it was here, the idea was borrowed and altered to the liking of that specific country. (Italy excluded.) They of course kept the name pizza but it wasn't quite the same.
So it seems in my opinion, that pizza as it originally was, is defined properly as what the Italians and Americans describe it as. There are essentially 2 types of pizza. Italian (Neapolitan) and American. Then there are of course variations of these types, sub types if you will, such as: NYC style, New Haven style, St louis style, California style and so on. However pizza some times takes on different forms entirely, mostly in other countries, but the most notable in this country is Deep Dish Chicago style pizza. Is this actually pizza ? If defined by the inventors and promoters, US and Italy, then no. Though I will leave this discussion for another posting.

Lets move on to Mexican pizza. There is pizza here in LA that claims Mexican pizza, and I will assume that there may be something similar in Mexico. It resembles a NY pie but has very few if any of the same ingredients. In fact, in my discovery it doesn't even have to be called pizza, it is called a Tlayuda. Perhaps it is called Mexican pizza only to attract the pizza lovers like me. Nevertheless, it isn't pizza if you ask me. To read more about the Tlayudas click below.
Then there is the Mexican pizza I came across in Mexico, this was more similar to a NY pie, so similar that the only thing Mexican about it was the location. Is this pizza, yes, though not really Mexican. To read more about the pizza in Mexico click below.
Then there is of course the more common Mexican pizza that we can find almost anywhere. I am sure even Pizza Hut has had a variation at one time. This is simply American style pizza with Mexican toppings, such as beans, avocado, salsa, some onions and meat. Hence:
It's funny: Mexicans took an American dish that we took from the Italians, made it their own, or in some cases just took it straight up and then the Americans took the Mexican concoction called pizza back to America and labeled it as "Mexican Pizza". Though the reality is, what we may be selling is what we've had all along, just with different toppings.

Well, I don't know if that makes sense. I am not expert, these are just my rambling opinions. This is why pizza is so interesting, it blurs every line of labels it can have. A hamburger is a hamburger is a hamburger. You don't ever see an Italian Burrito do you? Unless you want to call that Manicotti... but you don't.
To me I suppose, true Mexican pizza is actually just American pizza with Mexican toppings, because anything that is truly Mexican isn't really pizza. Or is it?

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