Food Review: Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza

I’ll give you the professional shot first courtesy of Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images.

For the longest time, I’ve heard about the famed Taco Bell Mexican Pizza, or as it was apparently originally called, the Pizzazz Pizza. When Taco Bell brought it back this past September 15th, I knew I had to try it. In fact, I was surprised it wasn’t more prominently featured on the menu at my local Taco Bell. Nonetheless, as described by Taco Bell, the Mexican Pizza contains seasoned beef and refried beans between two Mexican Pizza shells, whatever that means (it means tortillas), with Mexican Pizza sauce, three-cheese blend, and tomatoes on top. Or, as the hilarious Wikipedia entry describes it in quoting an NPR article, “It is not found in Mexican cuisine and it does not particularly resemble pizza.” Amazing.

The Mexican Pizza was first introduced in 1985, it contained olives and green onions as well. Well, thank goodness they got rid of the olives! At the time and even now, the Mexican Pizza was apparently a huge hit with South Asian Americans, especially because the beef could be substituted for beans; one man said in the aforementioned NPR article the reason it is such a hit is because of the “heavy emphasis” Taco Bell places on spice, reminding him of home.

Wait a second. (I do my research and resulting writing in real time.) The Mexican Pizza was around until 2020 until Taco Bell discontinued it owing to its paperboard packaging? Where have I been?! How have I never noticed this on a Taco Bell menu before? If I had, I surely would have tried it! I’m so confused. This feels like that Berenstein Bears vs. Berenstain Bears Mandela Effect for me; I thought the reason Mexican Pizza had such a cult following is because it disappeared from the Taco Bell menu years ago. What the heck?! I am truly Patrick from Spongebob living under a rock.

In any event, the Mexican Pizza is now a permanent fixture of the menu again and they apparently figured out the environmental issue (or did they?), and I had it tonight, September 30th, 2022, for the first time. Two things to warn about and acknowledge prior to showing my not-professional photo of the Mexican Pizza: 1.) I always take awful food pictures with poor lighting, so fair; and 2.) Obviously, the local teenager isn’t going to make the Mexican Pizza look as pretty as the professional photos, but yeah, this bad boy wasn’t anything to look at, that’s for sure! It looks like it melted under the weight of a thousand pounds of cheese and then was left in a box overnight. But of course I ate it because I’m a raccoon and I don’t care about aesthetics around food anyhow. I care if I enjoy eating it.

I did warn you.

And of course I enjoyed eating it. Folks. This “pizza” consists of beans, cheese, beef, pizza sauce, tomatoes and tortillas. You could put that in the ugliest configuration, you can call it a pizza, put it in a box, I don’t care, I’m going to eat it. Hell, package it in a shoe, I’ll eat it! I kid, I kid. Sort of.

It was messy, as you can imagine looking at the photo, and fell apart and I had to use my hands as a spoon (pfft, I wasn’t using their provided fork; I don’t eat pizza with a fork!), but I wolfed it down handedly. It wasn’t as filling as I expected, but by the same token, it’s only $4.49. You can’t beat that!

I think I’ll be getting this again. After all, I have at least five years of prime Taco Bell-feasting time when it was previously on the menu to catch up on.

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