Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Taco Pie or the mysterious Barquitos Pizza?

There is a reason why my title has the word 'mysterious' in it when referring to these hard-to-find pizza thingies called Barquitos, so let me try to explain. For one, it has been years since I had one of these (an altered taco pie like the one depicted here, maybe?), and even that was way back when I was in High School eating those random cafeteria lunches.  They used to only serve it on occasions, but it was a pleasant surprise when I would see it listed on the menu that day for lunch. It was like, "Yay!"

Anyway, when searching online for recipes for the long-lost barquitos of the past, I'm apparently not alone with this empty endeavor.  The short post I'm about to quote (and link to) below had multiple comments, all similar in their quest to solve this seemingly culinary unsolved mystery; ha!

Excerpt starts:

Tales of Pizza: Part Four: Barquitos
"When I was a young student of Richmond Public Schools, we were often served a very weird pizza-like dish called "barquitos" for lunch in the cafeterium (cafeteria+auditorium+gymnasium).  I have NEVER been able to find out anything about barquito pizza on the internet. I did however, find out that barquito means "little boat" in Spanish.

A barquito is basically a french bread pizza topped with seasoned taco meat (probably leftover lunch from the day before) and cheddar cheese.  I feel like maybe there was a similar dish with sloppy joe meat but who can really be sure. I have done my best to block out school lunch from my memories.

What is this dish? I only ever had it in elementary school. Is it the concoction of a lunch lady? Is it a real food item? What is a barquito?"
---Excerpt Ends

Okay, now back to my blog... After checking online for several more minutes, I'm yet to have any luck finding out an original recipe for the barquitos.  Do they even exist?  Is it just some made-up name that a multitude of schools across the nation gave this mystery pizza with debatable taco-related leftovers?

I did find several people claiming that the food-delivery truck known as Schwan's used to have a barquito product that was extremely tasty but they quit making them years ago.  Are the two types of barquitos related? Is all this hoopla & ballyhoo really about an old-fashioned taco pie with limited toppings?

Some people say it was seasoned taco meat with cheddar cheese and a cornbread like crust shaped like a pie.  Some folks say it had BBQ sauce on it, other people mention Mexican salsa or even pizza sauce, etc.  After taking all the stuff I read today into consideration, and after trying to recall what they looked and tasted like years ago, I'm thinking this mysterious barquitos pizza stuff was simply a modified taco pie. I do remember a Mexican kinda taste with a different kinda crust - leaning more to cornmeal and less towards regular flour - but I'm not sure about the sauce in the middle.  Chili sauce, maybe? Hmmmm...

At any rate, I'm going to just link to a blog that shows how to make a taco pie, instead.  Each individual can modify it as they deem necessary to make whatever kind of imaginary barquito pizzas that floats your boat.  Ha-ha!
Image Credit: Provided in the link above

---End of Post "Taco Pie or the mysterious Barquitos Pizza?"


  1. I'm going to chime in here for more info. I specifically remember the "barquito" -- my parents bought it from the Schwan man. The version I had would have been somewhere from 1986-88 and there may have been two versions, but we distinctly had one *without beef* -- let me describe it -- and I'm almost one of those people who can remember every day of their life:

    Definitely a cornmeal-based crust, with a little chew -- maybe a combo of fine masa and more course masa or white flour and coarser masa. It had a bit of a chew and a snap.

    The sauce was not pizza, BBQ or salsa -- I distinctly remember this because we put Old ElPaso taco sauce on ours. The sauce was almost a buttery sauce, probably some clear margarine swill with flavor -- maybe msg or a spice blend. The cheese was a mixture of white and yellow cheddar -- and it came dotted with red and green peppers chopped very finely -- halfway between a mince and a dice.

    My mother invented a peculiar way of serving them: we would cook it, then crumple tortilla chips on top and dot with salsa or taco sauce.

    Both of my parents and my brother have ZERO recollection of this.

    I may have been bounced out a timeline like the Mandela Effect or something, lol.

  2. I'm starting to think that the Barquitos of the past were an excellent example of the Mandela Effect... Ha-ha! Thanks for adding your informative and helpful comment. I guess the only thing left to do is attempt to make our own Barquitos since the food industry has seemingly quit making 'em. Cheers!

  3. We also got these from the Schwan's truck. (Around '92-'96.) I was super disappointed that they discontinued them. We got the ones with little beef meatballs. I can't for the life of me remember what the sauce was, but I remember the flavor well.

  4. Barquito Beef Taco was what we bought from the Schwan's man. I ate them almost every day after school. Corn meal shell with shredded taco flavor meat topped with cheddar cheese. This would have been late eighties early nineties. Was searching for a recipe and found this post.