How Doja Cat Brought Back Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza — The Complete Timeline

Fast food restaurant brand Taco Bell is bringing back the Mexican Pizza, as announced by Doja Cat at Coachella, but what did the singer do to establish its return and how did she become the chain’s spokesperson?

Doja Cat’s debut Coachella stage was everything we wanted – and more. She brought out Tyga and Rico Nasty, and performed new song Vegas that will feature in Baz Luhrmann’s forthcoming movie Elvis. 

What we didn’t expect was breaking news regarding the return of the Mexican Pizza at Taco Bell. The singer is known to be a loyal fan of the fast-food fave and has been campaigning for the item’s return since it was taken off the menu in 2020.

Let’s take a look at her perseverance for the sake of Mexican Pizza over the past year.

Doja Cat, a Taco Bell partner, announced the mouthwatering news at the weekend and the chain followed with a press release on Monday, stating the singer “literally dropped the mic with the hot news of the Mexican Pizza’s return this May”.

It wasn’t just Doja at the forefront of the Mexican Pizza movement, more than 200,000 fans signed a Change.org petition spearheaded by Krish Jagirdar, who called the item a “bridge to American culture for kids who grew up in immigrant households”.

The Mexican Pizza, which features refried beans and ground beef sandwiched between crispy tortillas and topped with melted cheese and tomatoes, will be available from 19 May.

The 200,000 signatures surely made a difference but would it have had the same impact without a passionate celeb at the forefront?

Taco Bell removed the fan favourite in 2020 as chains streamlined menus following the pandemic, while the packaging reportedly “accounted for more than seven million pounds of paperboard annually in the US”.

The Say So singer’s history with the chain dates to May 2021, when she tweeted her determination to bring back the pizza.

Taco Bell congratulated Doja Cat on her album release in June 2021 but never got back to her about the product. By September, an irritated Doja complained to Taco Bell.

“I want my Mexican Pizza back @tacobell why u quiet”, she tweeted.

Two hours later, the company hinted it was actually considering the Mexican Pizza’s return but all remained quiet until Doja asked for more information after Taco Bell featured one of her songs in a commercial.

By February 2022, the rapper was truly part of the Taco Bell team as she starred in its Super Bowl 2022 ad, The Grande Escape, covering Hole track Celebrity Skin.

The 26-year-old proved she could create music about anything with her viral ditty about the food item, although she forbade anyone to call it a jingle. Joking she was forced to make a song due to “contractual reasons”, she claimed she had tried to make the track bad but it came out pretty catchy and went viral on TikTok.

There you have it, Doja got the Mexican Pizza thanks to her perseverance and ability to create a tune Taco Bell couldn’t resist.

Source: HITC

Mexico’s Secret Chinese Underworld 🇲🇽 Mexicali, Mexico

Mexicali, Mexico – This is the capital of Baja California, Mexicali, and it has such a unique history to the fabric of Mexico, Gareth Leonard had to add this place as the last stop on his first Northern Baja road trip. Between the mid-1800s and the 1940s, Mexicali, became Mexico’s largest Chinatown.

By 1920, Mexicali’s Chinese population outnumbered the Mexican population 10,000 to 700, and yet, many people still didn’t even realize how many were here.

We meet up with our local guide Diego, to get the full story.

Now here’s the most interesting part for Gareth about La Chinesca.

Just beneath the surface of central old town, in the neighborhood of La Chinesca, there’s a labyrinth of basements and tunnels that once were home to an entire population of Chinese immigrants. During Prohibition in the United States, La Chinesca in Mexicali housed just about all of the city’s casinos and bars, and established a tunnel system to connect bordellos and opium dens to neighboring Calexico on the U.S. side.

Along with being a passageway for bootleggers into the United States, this underground world was also where Chinese people would live here in Mexicali.

Student Denied Diploma At Asheboro High School For Wearing Mexican Flag Over Gown

A North Carolina high school student was denied his diploma Thursday after he draped the Mexican flag over his graduation gown.

The 2021 graduate of Asheboro High School walked up to the stage with his classmates during their graduation ceremony. When his name was called, he walked across the stage to shake the principal’s hand and receive his diploma holder. The ceremony was being live-streamed to Facebook, and the student can be seen wearing the flag of Mexico across his shoulders.

The video shows the graduate reaching for his diploma holder before being stopped by a school administrator. She hesitates to give him the holder and can be seen talking back and forth with the student. The announcer can be heard continuing to read off the names of graduates as the student and administrator spoke about the flag. The student then begins to take off the flag, but he struggles to remove it. He stops when she eventually handed him the diploma holder.

After the ceremony when the student went to pick up his actual diploma, the school allegedly refused to give him the document and asked him to apologize for disrupting the ceremony, WDTN reported.

When the live-streamed video was posted to social media, viewers accused the school administrators of being racist, WXII reported. The statement from the school addressed these allegations.

“We strongly support our students’ expressions of their heritage in the appropriate time and place,” it said. “The accusations being made about our school and district are disheartening. We work with each student daily to ensure they receive rigorous instruction, equitable opportunity, and compassionate care in a safe and inviting learning environment. Across our school and district, we are passionate about seeing all students succeed.”

The Asheboro High School commended the student for his hard work and achievements during his time at the school. The district said they are working with the student and his family to make sure he receives his diploma.

Source: Newsweek

Meredith Bethune: The Difference Between Tex-Mex And Mexican Food

Mexican food confused me when I first moved to Texas. What I considered to be quintessential Tex-Mex, like sizzling fajita platters and enchiladas smothered in yellow cheese, were on the same menu as “traditional” Mexican favorites, like tacos al pastor and chiles en nogada. I even encountered a restaurant serving the Lone Star state’s famous queso dip next to cochinita pibil (a specialty from the Yucatán Peninsula) wrapped in flour tortillas. I didn’t know what to make of it. But after talking to several chefs, I learned that the distinction between Mexican and Tex-Mex food has actually been evolving for years, and has even recently started to blur.

The cuisine we now call Tex-Mex is rooted in the state’s Tejano culture (Texans of Spanish or Mexican heritage who lived in Texas before it became a republic) and also Mexican immigrants who hailed largely from Northern Mexico. Until the 1970s, though, most people referred to it simply as Mexican food. In The Tex-Mex Cookbook, Texas food expert Robb Walsh credits Diana Kennedy with removing Tex-Mex from the discussion of traditional Mexican cuisine.

Rick Bayless, however, recently told me at the Austin Food and Wine Festival that when he wrote the draft of his first cookbook, Authentic Mexican, he featured seven culinary regions of Mexico, including the Southwestern United States. “You could even break that down further into the cuisines of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and even the ranchos of California,” he added. Perhaps his view differs from Kennedy’s because he grew up in Oklahoma eating Tex-Mex two or three times a week.

If you’re looking to identify the distinguishing characteristics of Tex-Mex, enchiladas are a good case study. In the classic Tex-Mex version of cheese enchiladas, grated yellow cheese is wrapped in tortillas, and then covered in a dark red chili sauce mixed with ground beef. You’ll also find other typical Tex-Mex ingredients like pinto beans and rice served on the side.

Another difference is the abundant use of cumin in Tex-Mex cuisine. “We use it a lot in the north, but it’s not a spice we use much in the southern part of Mexico,” says de la Vega. Robb Walsh links the heavy use of cumin to the first wave of Canary Islanders who emigrated to San Antonio in the 1700s. Today it’s still a key ingredient in chili con carne, along with chili powder, which, according to Walsh, is a uniquely Texan invention developed by a German immigrant in New Braunfels in the late 1890s. In the late 1800’s, chili con carne was regularly ladled out at bargain prices in the streets of San Antonio at its famed chili stands. “Tex-Mex was never the cuisine of the upper echelon of society,” Bayless observes. “It’s a peasant, working class cuisine.”

The Tex-Mex that most of us think of, full of Velveeta cheese and pre-made taco shells, was shaped by the development of convenience foods in the 1950s. That time period left Tex-Mex, and even Mexican food in general, with a reputation as “just a cheap cuisine, full of sour cream and processed cheese, and that everything is greasy,” says de la Vega.

Fortunately, that perception has changed. “Tex-Mex has now evolved to a different stage,” says Bayless. “It was once a very simple cuisine, but now there are a variety of dishes on the menus.”

Carlos Rivero agrees. “‘Mexican’ is a very broad term because that profile encompasses so many different flavors and ingredients,” explains Rivero. “When you come to El Chile, you can have a modern take on Mexican or you can have the die-hard fajita platter. It’s up to you.”

As the line between traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex continues to evolve, it may become harder to separate the two. As Iliana de la Vega notes, “Either Tex-Mex or traditional Mexican, we can all live together. As long as it’s well-executed food, then, why not?”

Source: Serious Eats

Al Pastor Papi – The Al Pastor King Of San Francisco (Street Food Icons)

Miguel Escobedo loves three things: San Francisco, DJing, and al pastor, a spit-roasted pork popular in Mexican cuisine. Originally from Mexico City, Miguel’s passions have spawned a career making some of the best Mexican food in the Bay Area, and his current project, Al Pastor Papi, focuses on perfecting the al pastor experience. Miguel talks about his journey deep into the history of al pastor, where he learned about the food’s roots in Lebanon, and about how giving back to the community he loves has made his culinary career even richer.

Quaker Oats to retire 130-year-old Aunt Jemima brand and logo; Uncle Ben’s and Mrs. Butterworth’s also plan to phase out racial stereotypes

Earlier on Wednesday, Quaker Oats announced it’s retiring the 130-year-old Aunt Jemima brand and logo. “As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations,” the Pepsi (PEP)-owned company said in a statement.

Uncle Ben’s owner Mars is planning to change the rice maker’s “brand identity” — one of several food companies planning to overhaul logos and packaging that have long been criticized for perpetuating harmful racial stereotypes.

And Conagra, which makes Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup, said it would conduct a complete brand and packaging review. Conagra noted it “can see that our packaging may be interpreted in a way that is wholly inconsistent with our values.”

Source: CNN

2016 – Celebrity Chef Eddie Huang on the Oppressive Whiteness of the Food World; Tears into Food Network Eater and Praises Ghetto Gastro on Instagram

But what makes it all worse is that one of the things Eater has done is help push a kind of restaurant consensus around that monoculture, which goes a little like this: notable chef, must speak English, must be media-savvy, must have design-driven dining room, must kowtow to the scene, must have small plates, must push diverse histories through French ricers, must have toast points, must love dogs. Eater’s not alone in doing this — plenty of others do, too (including Grub Street). But the result is a formula that has basically condo-ized New York’s food culture with some ultimately pretty conservative, even intolerant, values. Which means maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that there’s a penitent skinhead near the top of Eater’s food chain. But it is a reason to try and shake things up. Food is so essential to our lives and social ecosystem that this news should be a signal not just to question the people in these positions of power but to question the positions themselves.

Source: Grub Street

Mexican Restaurant in Missouri “Camila’s Tex-Mex” Deletes Social Media Accounts after Hanging Coronavirus Pinata with Asian Caricature wearing Conical Rice Hat; Claims Character is Hispanic Despite Closed Eyes and Fu Manchu Mustache

One of the customers at the restaurant posted several photos of the establishment, crowded by people including children. A piñata featuring an Asian caricature wearing a conical rice-paddy hat and a Fu Manchu mustache was on display.

Before taking down their official Facebook page, the restaurant responded to one of the messages in an attempt to defend itself, saying, “This character was Hispanic.”

Source: NextShark