Spotlight on the pizzanucho

Photo: Google, Notimex
Photo: Google, Notimex
Photo: Google, Notimex

Marrero’s restaurant doesn’t have a social media presence, or a website, much less an Instagram account. But they’re all over the web right now.

The national wire service Notimex is spreading word about the pizzanucho (or sometimes, pizanucho), which José Luis Marrero Bermejo has been selling from his corner restaurant by the Melitón Salazar park, just north of the airport, since the 1980s. It seems all the local papers have picked up the story.

José Luis Marrero Bermejo
Marrero Bermejo

The story is told how Marrero Bermejo decided in 1979 to combine the flavors of a traditional Yucatecan panucho with an Italian pizza pie. After much experimentation, particularly with the dough and cheese, he taught himself to blend pizza sauce, beans, turkey and cabbage into this unique dish, which has endured ever since.

But it hasn’t overtaken the panucho.

Photo: Tumblr/lachicapurpura
Photo: Tumblr/lachicapurpura

The 2012 book “Foodscapes, Foodfields, and Identities in Yucatán” says the hybrid “failed to grab the urban culinary imagination and seems to have remained confined, to this day, to the creator’s diner.”

But mentions on travel blogs and autographs in the restaurant are evidence that the pizzanucho has a following, drawing curious visitors from even Italy, says Notimex, which has spread news of the Marrero pizzanuchorea far and wide.

The pizzanucho is documented in various online encyclopedias that list worldwide variations on the original Neapolitan dish.

Marrero’s restaurant is at calle 105 x 64-I at Parque Melitón Salazar, south of the Centro.

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