South Asian Americans are hyped for the Mexican Pizza’s return after a two-year absence from Taco Bell restaurants.
The fast food chain announced on Monday that they are bringing back the once-popular menu item to participating stores across the United States, Aruba, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic on May 19.
In an interview with NPR, comedian and writer Rima Parikh shared how Indian Americans have gravitated toward Mexican Pizza because Taco Bell was one of the few fast food restaurants that offered vegetarian and halal customizations during the ‘80s and ‘90s, when the US saw a large influx of Indian immigrants.
Parikh’s preferred Mexican Pizza customizations would include beans substituted for meat and the addition of potatoes and nacho cheese.
She also explained that many Indian Americans loved how Taco Bell’s food could be made spicy, akin to the spiciness of Indian cuisine.
“Desis love hot sauce, and it’s rare to find fast food hot sauce that is flavorful,” she said in a 2020 The Takeout story. When Taco Bell discontinued Mexican Pizza in November 2020, Krish Jagirdar, a superfan of the dish, created a Change.org petition to bring back the beloved dish. The petition has collected over 171,000 signatures.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“Losing this item would not only be the loss of one of our favorite foods but a piece of our childhood & heritage as Indian Americans,” she wrote in her petition.
“Like many Indian-Americans who grew up vegetarian, we had limited access to the ‘fun’ fast food,” Jagirdar explained in a Taco Bell press release. “So Taco Bell became a bridge to belonging in American culture for many kids like me who grew up in immigrant households.”
Another strong proponent for the return of Mexican Pizza after its discontinuation in 2020 has been musician Doja Cat, who has since kept the menu item alive in the minds of millions of social media users through her viral posts expressing her love for the Taco Bell creation.
Grammy award-winning artist Doja Cat, who is of Jewish American and South African descent, also played a role in the return of Mexican pizza, having kept the menu item alive in the minds of millions through viral social media posts expressing her love for the Taco Bell creation.
Last Sunday, Taco Bell gave Doja Cat the news that they would bring back the Mexican Pizza, which she announced at the end of her set at Coachella.
For only $4.49, fans will soon be able to order the Mexican Pizza again, made by sandwiching seasoned beef (or beans) between two crispy flour shells. The top is decorated in pizza sauce, tomatoes and melted cheese.
Taco Bell founder Glen Bell opened the first establishment in California in 1963, and the chain now has over 7,000 stores in the United States.
Feature Image via Taco Bell