Mexican Food in Italy

On my way to the airport, with my one-way ticket to Rome in hand, I insisted on stopping for a burrito.  I dutifully carried my prize through security, mini cups of salsa verde and all.

Growing up in Southern California, great Mexican food has always been a part of my diet.  As much as I love Italian cooking, I’ve been jonesing for some south of the border flavor.  I finally broke down and bought “Mexican Salsa,” at the Italian supermarket.

What I wanted:

The ingredients were: Tomato, peppers, onion, sugar, salt and “spices.” Great!  But here’s what I got:

Ketchup.  And the “spices?”  CINNAMON.  Wtf? Cinnamon?? In salsa?  I’m sorry Italy, but you lose this round. Cinnamon?!

Mexican food: You’re doing it wrong.

Bah.

Update 2016: It only took 6 years, but Rome finally got a decent Mexican bar.

11 thoughts on “Mexican Food in Italy

  1. Nerys says:

    Yeah, in general Italy doesn’t do non-Italian food very well… I’ve never eaten much Mexican (I guess it’s not quite as popular in the UK as it is in the States) but I miss the Chinese, Japanese & Indian food I used to get at home 🙁

    But saying that, I’ve just had some nice Turkish food for lunch…..

  2. Noelle says:

    Oh, I DO share your misery. I am from Orange County where we eat mexican, not to mention indian, thai, chinese, and everything else under the sun, about 1-2 times per week. I have debated having my sister smuggle some cilantro seeds to me, but not really sure what the consequences would be.

    Maybe we can go halvsies on a shipment of the good stuff sometime! Sometimes a girl just needs a carnitas taco and some good guacamole. 🙁

    • ashley vicente says:

      Where is the perfect bun? Are there any specialty stores in Rome where I can buy indian Thai or Mexican? I cant eat Italian day!!

      • L'americana says:

        It’s right in the center! Largo del Teatro Valle, 4. Just off Vittorio Emmanuele II, close to Piazza Navona. You can buy a ton of spices at Mercato Esquilino if you want to cook for yourself. I like Le Spezie del Guru for all ingredients for Indian dishes (Via Lamarmora 15) and there are Indian take away places in the same neighborhood.

  3. Mexicanita called Beverly says:

    I shuddered as I read this!

    Have things changed since this post was written? I’ll be in Italy soon for several months scouting for a place to live. I’m an American but I grew up in Mexico City. While Italian food is one of my greatest passions, I still enjoy (and often crave) cooking “interior” Mexican food.

    • Natalie says:

      Hi Beverly! Hmmm… I grew up in San Diego (and I visited Mexico City for the first time– amazing!), and I have to say there is still nothing in Rome that really compares to the food. La Cucaracha out by the Vatican is run by a family from Mexico, and there is a taco shop (La Taqueria) in Prati which tries– but I have to say that they don’t hit the spot for me. You can, however, now find much better ingredients particularly in Esquilino. Here is where to shop: http://anamericaninrome.com/wp/2015/11/7-best-places-to-buy-international-ingredients-in-rome/

      Hope you have a great stay in Rome– and eat well! Let me know if you uncover any deliciousness I may have missed.

  4. Pingback: La Punta: Mexican Food and Cocktails in Trastevere, Rome – An American in Rome

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