Could Oaxaca pizza become the next 'style'?

April 9, 2002

OAXACA, Mexico -- Everyone knows about New York-style and Chicago-style pizzas, but what about Oaxaca-style pizza?

According to The Chicago Tribune, Oaxaca (pronounced "waa-hocka"), a city in southern Mexico, is home to Trattoria Pizza e Pasta L'italiano, which offers pizza Oaxaca. The pie starts off innocently enough with cheese, grilled poblano and jalapeño chiles. But scattered in its center are crunchy, dark brown chapulines -- tiny fried grasshoppers.

The author of the article, Barbara Hansen, said everywhere she went, "vendors held out baskets of this delicacy." The insects were tolerable on a pizza, she said, "but not alone as a snack."

A little more tame but still somewhat unusual was the pizza Alu Eli. It was topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and Oaxacan cheeses, green olives, mushrooms and squash flowers.

Oaxaca's natives also have their own twist on pizza, called clayuda. It begins with an extra-large corn tortilla smeared with asiento (pork fat) and black bean puree. Then it's topped with shreds of Oaxacan string cheese and sometimes grilled, thinly sliced pork marinated with red chile.

Topics: Cheese , Pizza Toppings

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