This D.F. Restaurant Is Making Blue Corn Pizza With a Side of Social Change

Photo by Alan López for Remezcla

While we’re used to seeing Americanized versions of Mexican food, this place has turned the concept on its head, Mexicanizing what is now an American staple. D.F. restaurant Pixza is selling pies made with blue corn flour. Alejandro Souza and his roommate Luis Yáñez used to eat huaraches de chicharrón prensado all the time, which are made out of blue corn tortilla. Then, they moved to New York. Like many other Mexicans who move to NYC, they found the options lacking and started to miss their comfort foods. One day at a bar, Souza suggested that he and Yáñez make pizza out of blue corn flour.

The original idea for Pixza was to adapt Mexican cuisine to work with in a pizza format, Souza told Chilango. Though they thought it would be easy to create, the pair eventually found that it wasn’t. Adding blue corn flour produced dough that was too stretched out, and recipe books didn’t give them what they were looking for either. They ended up hiring someone else to help make their vision a reality. The result was a pizza peppered with blue specks on the crust, and with 40 percent less gluten. Souza and Yáñez currently have 22 different kinds of pizza, starting with a chipotle-based sauce. With that many pies, you know they’ve gotten creative. There’s one with chilaquiles and tamales. Those with a sweet tooth will be glad to know that they offer a Nutella-covered dessert pizza. Although, if you want our opinion, we say check out the Florencia, which has flor de calabaza, huitlacoche, epazote, onion, serrano pepper, and tomatoes. All we can say is ?.

When we visited Pixza, it was the social empowerment component of their business that Souza wanted to talk about. This is fitting for someone who described his restaurant to Chilango as a “social empowerment platform disguised as a restaurant.” As part of its empoderamiento social mission, the restaurant works with micro farmers and feeds the homeless. For every five pizza slices sold, Pixza gives one away. In order to keep getting food and other necessities – haircuts, a medical checkup, or a job – free pizza recipients have to participate in the Ruta del Cambio community service project. Upon receiving the first free slice, people are given a wristband. On the wristband are the words bathroom, shirt, haircut, and so on; it functions as a sort of checklist of what that person has done to earn their food. Another way Souza and Yáñez are bringing about change is naming a special pizza recipe in honor of a different social aid organization, to which they donate the profits. Souza and Yáñez may have just found the best way to eat pizza guilt-free.

Alan Lopez provided additional reporting.