A Guide to Eating Pizza in Mexico

13 Aug

Pizza in Mexico is generally good. Cheap lunches and dinners for backpackers can often be found at local pizza cafes that sell large individual slices of pizza for about $1 – $2 USD. Sometimes a free soft-drink is thrown in for this price. Large pizzas that can easily feed three to four friends sell for between $6 and $10 USD at the budget end, often with a large bottle of soft-drink included.

The pizza flavours available outside of gourmet pizza restaurants are nothing special; cheese, jamon (ham), Hawaiian (ham and pineapple) and chorizo are the main fare. What delightfully distinguishes the Mexican pizza experience is the range of salsas and condiments that accompany your pizza.

Most budget pizza joints will make sure you have at least the three standard pizza enhancers on your table. These include;

  • Salsa Valentina which is a tasty red tomato and chili sauce that adds flavour and spiciness to your meal;
  • Some kind of Salsa Verde (a green sauce made from tomatillos and green chillies), which is both sweeter and spicier then Salsa Valentina; and;
  • Salsa Inglesa, also known in the Anglo world as the humble ‘Worcestershire sauce’.

Surprisingly Worcestershire Sauce does not make a bad addition to your pizza.

Pricier pizza restaurants in Mexico will provide better quality versions of these pizza enhancers to their patrons. Fresh homemade Salsa Valentina and Salsa Verde can be delicious, as are of course expensive aged balsamic vinegars drizzled over your pizza instead of Salsa Inglesa.

The variety of pizza condiments also tends to be greater at these upper-end establishments. The owner of the expensive pizza restaurant that I visited in Zacatecas provided me and my fellow diners with more than a dozen types of salts and peppers to add to our pizzas. It was one of those ‘You want salt? I got salt!’ moments that turned into an amusing performance (my favourite was the smoked pepper). The owner also encouraged us to try a wonderful basil-infused olive oil which tasted as good as its fragrance.

The moral of the story is don’t make the mistake of thinking its too boring to eat pizza during your visit to Mexico. If you are willing to be adventurous and experiment with pizza condiments like the Mexians do, you’ll have something to write home about.

My new favourite condiment

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