the history of Taco Bell's disruptive faux cheese-dusted taco
May 1, 2013 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Deep Inside Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco In fact, the companies ended up creating a proprietary seasoner in the process, not least because for workers on the manufacturing line, the plumes of Doritos seasoning would create an almost Nacho Cheese gas chamber.

Previously
posted by zabuni (133 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
He gave his staff until March 2012--slightly under three years--to pull off a complete rethink of traditional Mexican cuisine.

What the hell do Taco Bell tacos (Doritos Locos or otherwise) have to do with traditional Mexican cuisine?
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:13 PM on May 1, 2013 [15 favorites]


an almost Nacho Cheese gas chamber.

I am ready for death.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:13 PM on May 1, 2013 [53 favorites]


If you're interested in this sort of thing I recommend Salt, Sugar, Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:13 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, the "Cool Ranch" version really, really should have been a chicken taco instead of another ground beef version.
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:14 PM on May 1, 2013 [15 favorites]


I MEAN, IT WAS ACTUALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE LEFT THE ORANGE DUSTING ON YOUR FINGERS BECAUSE OTHERWISE, WE'RE NOT DELIVERING THE GENUINE DORITOS [EXPERIENCE].


History's greatest monster
posted by The Whelk at 4:15 PM on May 1, 2013 [20 favorites]


I still can't believe this is a real fucking thing human beings buy by the millions.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:16 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


See, that was the only thing I hated about Doritos when I ate a lot of them; having to lick the dust off your hands like an animal. Sure, I could have walked to a sink and washed them, but that would have involved a) getting up, b) walking and c) standing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:16 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Chopsticks, people! Has no one read Wondermark?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:17 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


So that guy who drove 900 miles so he could sample this food sooner? That is insane, right? I mean, like, diagnosable
posted by angrycat at 4:21 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can only operate chopsticks when drunk.
posted by The Whelk at 4:22 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


"It's really one of those breathtakingly simple but huge ideas," Creed says. "I remember trying to sell guacamole in the Midwest and people were like, 'What's all this green stuff in my burrito?' But this was a fastball, down the middle."

Guacamole xeno-panic? Sometimes I just want to weep for American culture. But then I guess Fast Company always has been a form of dystopian literature.
posted by RogerB at 4:23 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


But then I guess Fast Company always has been a form of dystopian literature.

Not to threadsit, but this is what got me. The unironic description of a Doritos shelled taco as disruptive sort of broke my brain.
posted by zabuni at 4:25 PM on May 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


This entire article reads as if each person interviewed got stoned into the twelfth dimension.

"[...]we put on our relentless hats and were determined to not let [this thing] beat us."

Are we sure this isn't a marketing piece planted by Twitter so its users have something new to mock?
posted by Turkey Glue at 4:26 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is this something I'd have to eat out to understand?
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:26 PM on May 1, 2013


infinitywaltz, they are disrupting Mexican cuisine and ALL THE PARADIGMz!

I'd like to see our local badass burrito chain (Santiago's, Colorado) explode nationwide. Nebraskans might balk at guacamole but there's a macho component with deliciously spicey pork green chile that appeals to lots of people, and you can work your way up from mild to weaponized. My in-laws are from Nebraska and they love it, though they stick with mild.

Fuck, a shredded pork stuffed burrito full of chile for $3 and they usually charge less (and get a tip to make up the difference).
posted by lordaych at 4:27 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Apparently the gas chamber - or something - is in effect at the assembly lines at Taco Bell, because there was a rash of pictures on Reddit recently of some seriously screwed-up builds of this (fillings between the shell and the cardboard, etc).
posted by Old'n'Busted at 4:28 PM on May 1, 2013


The Relentless Hat is my favorite team fortress 2 item.
posted by The Whelk at 4:28 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


(disruptive doesn't mean anything anymore; Snapchat is 'disruptive', FFS)
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:28 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are people who don't like guacamole?
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:31 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Taco Bell disrupts my intestinal flora equilibrium pretty well
posted by lordaych at 4:31 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Taco Bell is a wonderfully honest company. They fully admit that they are ONLY pallatable when it is 3am, you are drunk, and need something to sop up that leftever bottom shelf whiskey in your gut. And for better or worse, their mad scientist collisions of food and dementia are the most imaginative things in the fast food market. I mean, they at one point sold a god damn RECURSIVE NACHO. It was a Nacho, made out of a Taco Salad bowl, which itself had Nacho cheese on it. It was seemingly impossible, or at least inadvisable, but they actually invented the Nacho Stuffed Nacho.
posted by mediocre at 4:31 PM on May 1, 2013 [37 favorites]


Also, the "Cool Ranch" version really, really should have been a chicken taco instead of another ground beef version.

You realize you can have them pretty much change anything you'd like, don't you? You can make it a chicken version. In fact, I did one myself - except it was a double decker with a cool ranch shell inside and chicken.
posted by evilangela at 4:32 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


So that guy who drove 900 miles so he could sample this food sooner? That is insane, right? I mean, like, diagnosable

I suspect it's something he did to be able to say he did it moreso than to actually have done it. Sometimes the journey is the destination and sometimes the increasingly elaborate anecdote you tell your frat brothers about the time you totally got stoned and drove 900 miles for a taco is the destination.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:35 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, I tried the Doritos Locos once. It was okay, but the shell breaks REALLY easily. It doesn't have a satisfying crunch no matter how hard they worked on it. The shell is so brittle that they serve it to you in a cardboard sleeve, I'm sure most people think it is to keep the Dorito Dust off your mitts, but really it's because even the lightest grasp on the naked shell and it will shatter like the gossamer teardrops of disappointed snackers.
posted by mediocre at 4:35 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


While they are working out "satisfying crunch" I'd also like them to focus on "don't serve stale gordita wrappers" FFS. And make sure your burritos are wrapped like a tight blunt so the shit isn't falling onto my crotch when I'm pigging out in my car. First rule of Taco Bell for those who eat it: do not enter the premises.
posted by lordaych at 4:39 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


I like Taco Bell and I like Cool Ranch Doritos. But I have yet to try the Dorito Tacos. What this says I don't know.
posted by jonmc at 4:39 PM on May 1, 2013


...the plumes of Doritos seasoning would create an almost Nacho Cheese gas chamber...

resulting in a holocaust of flavor!!!
posted by Renoroc at 4:41 PM on May 1, 2013 [36 favorites]


seanmpuckett: "Is this something I'd have to eat out to understand?"

I'd suggest taking it out for coffee first.
posted by brundlefly at 4:41 PM on May 1, 2013 [51 favorites]


The way my local news network broadcast it, it came across as a publicity stunt.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 4:42 PM on May 1, 2013


If it isn't deep fried, they aren't really done yet. The apex of the junkfood ladder is deep fried.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:43 PM on May 1, 2013


New: Oreos with Hellmann's mayonnaise filling
High Liner brand frozen deep-fried Goldfish crackers
Burger King's new Strawberry Passion Flakie burger
Hershey chocolate lobster filled with scallops, only at Red Lobster
Starbucks Froot Loops frappuccino

Oh, am I being too disruptive? Sorry, I was wearing my RELENTLESS HAT
posted by oulipian at 4:43 PM on May 1, 2013 [35 favorites]


an almost Nacho Cheese gas chamber

That is not even an English noun phrase you can not put the word "almost" there what the hell is an "almost nacho" who are these people?

ahem
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 4:44 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Nacho Cheese Gas Chamber" is the name of my new Swedish black metal boy band.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:45 PM on May 1, 2013 [16 favorites]


Maybe they were going to go with "almost an" but couldn't work out whether to use "a" or "an" before Nacho Cheese.
posted by ceribus peribus at 4:47 PM on May 1, 2013


Almost Nacho is my fusion Ska/Mariachi band.
posted by The Whelk at 4:47 PM on May 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


I am pretty sure the problem is selling Taco Bell guacamole in shitty burritos, because in my neck of the Midwest there are a shitload of Mexican restaurants both authentic and Americanized with real guac on hand that do pretty damn well.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:48 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


oulipian's ideas remind me of that "American Dad" episode where Stan opened up a restaurant with licorice burritos and chocolate chip meatballs. And the plates were edible; they were pancakes!
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:49 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hershey chocolate lobster filled with scallops, only at Red Lobster

I would order that. Scallops + chocolate is totally within the realm of possibility. (Also I miss their cheese rolls.)
posted by restless_nomad at 4:50 PM on May 1, 2013


Sometimes the journey is the destination and sometimes the increasingly elaborate anecdote you tell your frat brothers about the time you totally got stoned and drove 900 miles for a taco is the destination.

A Taco Lips Now
I've eaten horrors... horrors that maybe you've eaten, without having to journey up jungle rivers to find it. But you have no right to call me insane. You have a right to kill me. Hell, I'll pay you to kill me. Do you have any idea what this stuff does to my colon? Do you have any idea what it's like for your shit to glow? You have a right to kill me... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror... Horror has a face... an orange, orange face.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:50 PM on May 1, 2013 [23 favorites]


On further consideration I'm voting for the reading where the cheese is described as "almost-nacho." Sub-nacho. Not quite nacho material.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 4:50 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I read somewhere that Taco Bell is staking their entire fiscal future on these two proprietary Doritos branded tacos. Not a very sound business plan. Maybe the fact that all of their food went to complete garbage around 1991 hurt them a little.
posted by PuppyCat at 4:50 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Prussian Orange

(Yeah, that's right)
posted by symbioid at 4:51 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


> Guacamole xeno-panic? Sometimes I just want to weep for American culture.

Remind me to tell you some time about Carlos O'Kelly's, a midwestern "Mexican-themed" restaurant chain. I gather they've improved their menu now, but when I ate at one in Indiana about a decade ago the food was probably most charitably described as Minnesota hot dish with nacho chips and extra Velveeta.
posted by ardgedee at 4:54 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Carl's Jr. throws down with their own disruption. What if you took an ice cream sandwich and replaced the sandwich part with Pop-tarts? Boom.
posted by perhapses at 4:57 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are people who don't like guacamole?

I like it in theory but in practice it makes me unacceptably gassy. So I guess I technically don't like it very much.
posted by elizardbits at 4:58 PM on May 1, 2013


one day i will stop talking about my butt on the internets

today is not that day
posted by elizardbits at 4:58 PM on May 1, 2013 [21 favorites]


I really expected Nacho Cheese Gas Chamber to refer to the interior of a small car after hitting the Taco Bell drive thru.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:59 PM on May 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


"everything from seasoning mechanics to the taco's structural integrity"

This is what happens when science is left to the private sector.
posted by compartment at 4:59 PM on May 1, 2013 [12 favorites]


The Fifth Element isn't love. The Fifth Element is Guacamole.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:00 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Did the editors really need to add that being gassed in a Nacho Cheese Gas Chamber would be "what a way to go"?

Thousands of workers die on the job every year, too bad it's not inhaling Doritos dust! Edgy!

Ray knows the score: Little did he know that men in white lab coats had been paid to make sure that he permanently liked this food.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:00 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


So - one thing I am very bitter about with Taco Bell is that they finally removed the Chilito (sorry "Chili Cheese Burrito") from our locale a couple years ago. But while that sucks, the one thing I wish they'd bring back is the mother fuckin' Rancho Steak Burrito. GODDAMN THAT WAS SOME GOOD SHIT.

True story - I used to work at the Bell back in the mid to late 90s. One time, this dude walks in and asks if we'd whip up something for him. He sez "Take a soft taco, now... slap on some beans... Now, throw on a hard taco and fill it up... What do you guys think?" We loved it. I'm not sure how long afterwards, but Taco Bell had the Double Decker added to their menu as an item. We think he was one of those undercover corporate dudes. Sneaky bastard.

Re: Dorito Tacos. Those orange ones are an abomination and was glad when they finally released the Ranch ones. Honestly though, meh. There are so many other better things they've done in the past, that they would be better off just bringing back even as a limited time item.
posted by symbioid at 5:01 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Fifth Element isn't love. The Fifth Element is Guacamole.

Bore-on!
posted by straight at 5:01 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw Cookie Dough Pop-Tarts for sale awhile back. One you toasted them, wouldn't they just be cookies inside a pop-tart?
posted by jonmc at 5:01 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did the editors really need to add that being gassed in a Nacho Cheese Gas Chamber would be "what a way to go"?

Yeah, that struck me, too. I took it as along the lines of the jokes about the guy who drowned at the brewery or whatever, but it still sounded kind of in poor taste. The failure mode of clever is always asshole, as a wise man once said.
posted by gauche at 5:03 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Carl's Jr. throws down with their own disruption. What if you took an ice cream sandwich and replaced the sandwich part with Pop-tarts? Boom.

And then replaced the Pop-tart filling with Oreos. And the Oreo gunk with layer cake. And stuffed it inside a turkey.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 5:03 PM on May 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


compartment: ""everything from seasoning mechanics to the taco's structural integrity"

This is what happens when science is left to the private sector.
"

Ooh a Lamar Smithian future to behold!
posted by symbioid at 5:03 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does no one else remember Taco Bell's Theorem? "No culinary theory based upon traditional local ingredients can ever reproduce all of the predictions of seasoning mechanics"?
posted by hoople at 5:05 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


So - one thing I am very bitter about with Taco Bell is that they finally removed the Chilito (sorry "Chili Cheese Burrito") from our locale a couple years ago.

Heh. Me, too. I hadn't realized they stopped making it, (I hardly ever eat there anymore) but the chili cheese burrito was my go-to late-night drunk order in law school.
posted by gauche at 5:05 PM on May 1, 2013


Yeah, the nacho cheese gas chamber joke reminds me of the funny-sounding but real and awful "popcorn lung" caused by diacetyl artificial butter flavoring in popcorn factories.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:09 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


gauche: supposedly chilito is Spanglish slang for 'little dick."
posted by jonmc at 5:09 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bore-on!

Oh, I will! I wiiiiilllll.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:10 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are flamas the Dorito equivalent of Flamin' Hot Cheetos because basically if they release Flamin' Hot Cheeto Tacos or Burritos it's basically all over, American cuisine would officially hit it's nadir.

Especially washed down with a big cup of Mountain Dew HFCS
posted by vuron at 5:18 PM on May 1, 2013


The official nadir lies beneath a small greasy puddle of donkey sauce.
posted by elizardbits at 5:28 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


And then replaced the Pop-tart filling with Oreos. And the Oreo gunk with layer cake. And stuffed it inside a turkey.

"Pizza? Now that's what I call a taco!"
posted by infinitywaltz at 5:28 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


The only time i like mt dew is w taco bell.

My new job is no longer near a taco bell. But i used to eat at least once a week. Their mexican pizza is awesome.

I remember seeing the commercial for it way back in the 90s and actually saying to my friend "do you think that looks awesome?". He said no. I left and went to taco bell. It was awesome.

I'm not a huge doritos fan tho. The doritaco was so bad i couldnt finish it. I took two bites and bleh. It was like eating salty wet cardboard.

Now i want taco bell. I havent had any in almost three months...
posted by sio42 at 5:34 PM on May 1, 2013


ardgedee, back in my college days I spent my summers flipping burgers at a Carlos O'Kelly's. One of the servers got a bit upset when once when a customer called it gringo food. Everyone else in the kitchen seemed to think that sounded just about right.

Also, one time a customer ordered a quesadilla without cheese, and got rather embarrassed after everyone in the kitchen loudly commented that the cheese is the whole point of a quesadilla.
posted by ckape at 5:36 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I was in college I lived two blocks away from a Taco Bell. In those days, bean burritos were 59 cents and seven-layer burritos (introduced sometime in the middle of my college years) were 99 cents. Between that, Ramen noodles, and cheap beer I was able to subsist on 400 dollars a month. (The local convenience store guys knew me as "the Milwaukee's Best lady".) I still get a craving for Taco Bell every now and then, despite the fact that it's crap and I live within easy reach of awesome authentic taquerias. It's kind of like how a grilled cheese sandwich has to be made with squishy white bread and Kraft singles, even when you ordinarily eat homemade bread and imported cheese.
posted by Daily Alice at 5:44 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Now, I want to try something with you all. Are you will to try something with me? Take a look at your hands. Notice anything? Feel the warm nacho cheese and crispy tortilla chips slipping through your greasy fingers? That's right; you're holding a pile of our new Doritos® Spicy Sweet Chili Flavored Tortilla Chips, smothered in our special Spicy Sweet Chili Flavored Nacho Cheese, seasoned beef, hearty beans, diced ripe tomatoes, and reduced-fat sour cream. We call it the Doritos® Spicy Chili Locos Nachos Supreme. And I'll tell you another thing, friends. It was there the whole time.
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:45 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


what do you call a cheese gas chamber that's not yours
posted by invitapriore at 5:46 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


somebody elses cheese gas chamber
posted by elizardbits at 5:48 PM on May 1, 2013 [15 favorites]


I saw Cookie Dough Pop-Tarts for sale awhile back. One you toasted them, wouldn't they just be cookies inside a pop-tart?

who toasts pop-tarts why would you even
posted by ninjew at 5:53 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


> who toasts pop-tarts why would you even

Damn straight. Deep-fry that sucker.
posted by ardgedee at 6:00 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hadn't eaten Taco Bell in 10+ years, but you better believe I went and tried that Doritos Taco. I am dedicated to my one true love, Doritos! <3 you!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:04 PM on May 1, 2013


Pop-tarts should be slow smoked for twelve hours. Low and slow, baby. Low. And. Slow.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:07 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I... I kinda want to put a KFC Double Down in a Doritos taco shell.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:09 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I heard a Wilhelm Scream while reading that comment.
posted by elizardbits at 6:12 PM on May 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


I cook all my Pop-Tarts sous-vide, then blog about it.
posted by prize bull octorok at 6:21 PM on May 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


When I was in college I lived two blocks away from a Taco Bell. In those days, bean burritos were 59 cents and seven-layer burritos (introduced sometime in the middle of my college years) were 99 cents. Between that, Ramen noodles, and cheap beer I was able to subsist on 400 dollars a month. (The local convenience store guys knew me as "the Milwaukee's Best lady".)

Wait, what do you mean subsist? As a single dude, $100/week is roughly double my budget for purchasing a shitload of food and wild-raised, etc etc meat, cheese, etc. Are you saying you spend double my monthly budget eating fast-food? The mind boggles.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 6:27 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm holding out for Taco Bell's Doritos Foie Gras X-13D Flavor Experiment Tacos.
posted by item at 6:29 PM on May 1, 2013


ardgedee: the food was probably most charitably described as Minnesota hot dish with nacho chips and extra Velveeta.

That's different.
posted by Woodroar at 6:38 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Excuse me, but "disruptive" and "paradigm"? Aren't these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?

Not that I'm accusing anyone here of anything like that.

I'm fired, aren't I?
posted by jquinby at 6:43 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wait, what do you mean subsist? As a single dude, $100/week is roughly double my budget for purchasing a shitload of food and wild-raised, etc etc meat, cheese, etc. Are you saying you spend double my monthly budget eating fast-food? The mind boggles.

I assumed that Daily Alice meant "$400 for everything including some kind of ultra-cheap rent". This must have been in the nineties, right? You could back then get a whole fairly adequate studio apartment in S MPLS for $375.

I note, though, that $50/week buys me a fairly careful week's worth of lots of fresh vegetables, tofu and so on, but that in my location I could not afford meat, wild-caught stuff, organics, etc on $50 unless it was basically organic beans and organic rice for every meal. Costs vary hugely by locality.
posted by Frowner at 6:45 PM on May 1, 2013


Whenever anyone tells you that America's best days are behind her, I want you to point to the Doritos Locos Taco and tell them--proudly--that American innovation is alive and well.
posted by R. Schlock at 6:45 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


oulipian: "Starbucks Froot Loops frappuccino"

Pretty sure that would sell...
posted by krinklyfig at 6:51 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Creed says. "It would've been too much seasoning and flavor for our workers. We had to enclose it so the seasoning wouldn't escape. It would've been overpowering." [Eds. note: Not a bad way to go.]
How better to celebrate May Day than with a bit of crass workplace hazard humor. Thanks, fastcompany editors.

I should have stopped reading while I was humorously, snarkily faux-outraged at the idea of engineers struggling to insure foods leave orange powder on people's hands. That was a fun kind of outrage.
posted by eotvos at 6:51 PM on May 1, 2013


To tackle this huge challenge, for months we shared know-how between the technical teams at Frito-Lay and Taco Bell.

Did anyone else picture Ed Harris walking into a room of engineers at this point?

"Gentlemen...we need to make this flavor (holds up Dorito) go on to this shell. (holds up taco). Failure is not an option."

(dumps tacos and doritos all over the table)

Now get to work.

(music swells - lots of celloes - something in march signature)
posted by jquinby at 6:54 PM on May 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


the food was probably most charitably described as Minnesota hot dish with nacho chips and extra Velveeta.

That's different.


I've had something matching this description near Orlando.
posted by eddydamascene at 6:54 PM on May 1, 2013


We realized we needed more capacity, because we couldn't slow down the Nacho Cheese line in order to create capacity for Cool Ranch," Creed says.

This article is hilarious.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:58 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


R. Schlock, I actually point to Doritos as a sign of America's decline. Once upon a time you could buy Cooler Ranch Doritos, but now all they sell is Cool Ranch Doritos. If America was still on the rise we'd be up to Coolest Ranch Doritos by now.
posted by ckape at 6:59 PM on May 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Here’s How To Make Hot Cheetos-Crusted Fried Mozzarella Sticks
posted by rosswald at 7:10 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Years ago (maybe 12) a friend and me had a coupon for 20 tacos at Taco Bell for some insane price like $8 so at lunch we went and ordered them. We made sure we kept up to eachother like a drinking game. I got halfway through my eighth and put it down...mhe looke at me and said "you're a bigger man than me i wanted to quit a taco ago". We left and about two hours later i had an epiphanal crap. After that i have never eaten there again, I was one with the cosmos for that brief moment though.
posted by mrgroweler at 7:12 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Taco Bowel
posted by lathrop at 7:17 PM on May 1, 2013


We left and about two hours later i had an epiphanal crap.

Note to self: Never, ever visit mrgroweler's house on January 6th.
posted by R. Schlock at 7:18 PM on May 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


oulipian: "Starbucks Froot Loops frappuccino"

Pretty sure that would sell...


So, like, caffeinated strawberry Quik? Yeah, I'd totally drink that.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 7:30 PM on May 1, 2013


I like it in theory but in practice it makes me unacceptably gassy.

Open a guacamole gas chamber and rent it to Taco Bell!
posted by octobersurprise at 7:37 PM on May 1, 2013


Wait, what do you mean subsist? As a single dude, $100/week is roughly double my budget for purchasing a shitload of food and wild-raised, etc etc meat, cheese, etc. Are you saying you spend double my monthly budget eating fast-food? The mind boggles.

No, of course not. That princely sum of $400/month covered not only my diet, but my rent (half a two-bedroom apartment in Urbana, Illinois), half of utilities and cable, a pack-a-day cigarette habit ($2/pack at the time), and whatever else I wanted to entertain myself. (Usually that took the form of buying a used paperback at Acres of Books, then repairing to Murphy's Pub to read the book and drink whatever beer they had on special for $1/pint.) This was 1990-1992.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:41 PM on May 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


When I was in college I lived two blocks away from a Taco Bell. In those days, bean burritos were 59 cents and seven-layer burritos (introduced sometime in the middle of my college years) were 99 cents. Between that, Ramen noodles, and cheap beer I was able to subsist on 400 dollars a month.

As a poor vegetarian, college student in Mississippi in the middle 90's, the local Taco Bell let me sub guac for the "beef" in their food at no additional charge and kept me well fed at reasonable rates. I still think fondly of them, but I haven't eaten a Taco Bell item (other than the cinnamon crisps, which I will occasionally buy by the bag full in a flurry of gastronomic masochism) in at least ten years. That said, between Taco Bell, the Jitney Jungle, the local Pakistani food trailer, and Drinkin' With Lincoln at Rick's, I got by on well south of a C-note a week.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:42 PM on May 1, 2013


I know that this is how capitalism is supposed to work, is supposed to drive our economy. There's a need, and people do the research and development needed to fill that need. And people get paid to do that and they buy other things, and that R&D has side effects that spur innovation in other areas, and we're all better for it. Yay, capitalism.

But hot damn if that doesn't sound like a whole lot of work and time and money to make a slightly different crappy taco.

I suppose if I resent that time and money, and think that maybe it'd be better spent, like, figuring out how to raise cattle in close quarters without antibiotics, then I'm a Communist.
posted by gurple at 7:43 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Fifth Element isn't love. The Fifth Element is Guacamole.

No no, you've got it all wrong.

Guacamole is love.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:45 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


These sound wholesome and nutritious and not the slightest bit incredibly terrible.
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 7:46 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


We still have the chili cheese burritos here in NE Ohio, and boy are they delicious.

The Doritos Locos Tacos on the other hand...meh. Not worth the extra $ or mess.
posted by DRoll at 8:23 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


"...and Frito-Lay has even announced that it will offer Taco Bell-flavored Doritos."

Way to bury the (totally delicious sounding) lede there.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2013


"...and Frito-Lay has even announced that it will offer Taco Bell-flavored Doritos."

Yo dawg I herd you like doritos in your taco bell so we put your taco in a taco bell dorito so you

Segmentation Fault
posted by murphy slaw at 8:46 PM on May 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


Doritos already have a Taco Bell-flavored chip, though maybe they're rebranding it. Right now it's called Late Night Taco. The name of the flavor is startling and horrendously accurate.

I have not seen it mentioned yet, but when will they get a Doritos tostada for the inside of a Crunch Wrap??

Also, other than the aforementioned Crunch Wrap, I have two words for Taco Bell fans: Del Taco. Most are open 24 hours, and their chicken soft tacos are THE BEST. I work across the street from Taco Bell's headquarters and they have a restaurant in their ground level that was serving the Doritos taco well before it was released. But I never went, because there's also a Del Taco nearby. (Also a fantastic 24-hour taqueria, but we're talking about fake Mexican food, not the real kind.)
posted by sleeping bear at 8:46 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


What if you took an ice cream sandwich and replaced the sandwich part with Pop-tarts?

Is this real life?
posted by lordaych at 8:55 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are flamas the Dorito equivalent of Flamin' Hot Cheetos because basically if they release Flamin' Hot Cheeto Tacos or Burritos it's basically all over, American cuisine would officially hit it's nadir.

Not exactly, they are more tailored towards True Mexicans (R) in that they offer a spicy / tart combination. I actually was going to say something about wanting the exact thing you fear, and then remembered the amazing $0.99 "beefy crunch burrito" which contained flamin' hot Fritos. I loved it, but you had to eat it immediately.

I have expensive tastes but I am food science's ideal sucker: emotional eater, eater of all kinds, sweet, savory, spicey, dull, boring, exotic, salty, butt-flavored. Just seeing if you were still reading.
posted by lordaych at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I cook all my Pop-Tarts sous-vide, then blog about it.

You don't have to buy one of those fancy machines. Seal your Pop Tart in two layers of ziplock bag and then run it through the dishwasher (don't use the heated dry setting, and take it out of the foil wrapper first, of course) and it will taste every bit as good as if you used one of those $400 water ovens.
posted by straight at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was sad to see the hot Frito-burrito go but am even more flummoxed at the prospect of losing the chili cheese burrito. We've still got them. I've got like, 16 years of chili cheese burrito memories and I don't want to stop building them.

I used to work for the company that makes (made?) most of their point-of-sale equipment and it was interesting just how much experimentation Taco Bell did in different markets. Interesting for five seconds, but after the 50th time helping someone program the Limey Chicken Bacon Thai Chalupa or whatever into their system fifty times over the phone (combos and discounts and weird shit), having memorized every step after the 8th time or so, I got stoned and there you go.
posted by lordaych at 9:06 PM on May 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: all kinds, sweet, savory, spicey, dull, boring, exotic, salty, butt-flavored. Just seeing if you were still reading.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 9:07 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are we sure this isn't a marketing piece planted by Twitter so its users have something new to mock?
the disruptive work of Wxird Tzttzr's avant garde enfant terribles occupies a place squarely outside the marketplace and cannot be exploited as a vein of advertising

*is odd-looking and chunky irl*
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:24 PM on May 1, 2013


I originally read this article on my mobile device, which led to the common experience of having to find the article from the home page, with the deep link butchered in transition. The whole experience of interacting with the mobile site was refreshingly disruptive and paradigm-shifting (I had to figure out the exact amount of finger-flickery needed to move from one article to the next) so I knew I was in for a treat.

Having clicked on it now with a 23" monitor, with the gigantic glorious taco picture replete with glistening tomato chunks and what appears to be beautifully chopped and arranged butter lettuce (that'd be cool) I get the distinct feeling that this is long-form advertising intended to broaden the audience and legitimize this creation by promoting it as a brilliant act of product development and engineering that will be cited decades from now in MBA classes rather than the rather straightforward and mediocre outcome of a Wednesday-night bong* session. Especially scrolling down the whole thing, having read the content in a more text-only environment prior, so the pictures, style, headings, etc really give me the feeling you get when reading through a magazine and missing the "advertisement" footer a quarter of the way through a strange article.

I bet there's a ton of pressure to keep the head of steam going after that massive bump in sales.

/disclaimer: knows nothing about fastcompany, just sayin'

* not that there's anything wrong with that
posted by lordaych at 9:57 PM on May 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


It would be fucking terrible to live in a place that didn't have taco carts, late night or otherwise, and be forced to eat at Taco Bell. The one second closest to my house does a huge business with drunk vegetarians by offering something like fajitas minus the meat (red and green bell peppers, onions, scallions, plus an egg on request) and chilaquiles. If you've never had that dish, chilaquiles are to nachos what authentic Mexican food is to Taco Bell. Sheer gluttony.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 10:33 PM on May 1, 2013


"Starbucks Froot Loops frappuccino"

My local Starbucks features a Crunch Berry Frappucino which, to hear them tell it, tastes exactly like it's namesake, only with caffeine and whipped cream. I haven't had it yet. However, I was there to suggest, consult on, and taste-test the Andes Mint frappucino, and it was excellent.
posted by malthusan at 11:29 PM on May 1, 2013


Taco Bell 'food' must be eaten quickly before it cools, or before your gag reflex kicks in.
posted by Cranberry at 11:51 PM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


zabuni: "The unironic description of a Doritos shelled taco as disruptive sort of broke my brain."

Fans of Transmetropolitan may remember a device called a "bowel disruptor". That might be what they're going for here.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:00 AM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are people who don't like guacamole?

Ore-uh-GAH-no, what the hell?
posted by gompa at 12:00 AM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I also came here to comment about the beefy crunch burrito (burrito with hot Fritos in it). It was the best thing ever engineered by man and it was replaced by this flashy Doritos bullshit. We lived with a Taco Bell within a clear shot of our backyard when that thing was out. The day we tried to order a beefy crunch burrito and they told us it was all Doritos tacos from now on we decided to be good sports and try it. My husband summarized it best when he took a bite and said, "FUCK this taco."

Then we moved. True story.

The closest thing to the beefy crunch burrito now is a volcano burrito, but it's not the same.
posted by Nattie at 1:02 AM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


This entire post makes me want doritos.
posted by omredux at 1:58 AM on May 2, 2013


I still can't believe this is a real fucking thing human beings buy* by the millions.

I was going to go with I was shocked to hear that humans were still involved in making the product. A more cynical response would be humans involved that the FDA, OSHA, and management cared enough about to have to make a special thing to apply the coating.

But perhaps YUM Brands tried goats to be involved in making the product and had to put the last of the test goats in a TV add as part of a settlement?

*really? Pink Slime anyone?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:29 AM on May 2, 2013


The shell is so brittle that they serve it to you in a cardboard sleeve, I'm sure most people think it is to keep the Dorito Dust off your mitts, but really it's because even the lightest grasp on the naked shell and it will shatter like the gossamer teardrops of disappointed snackers.

Those teardrops are just the ch-ching of profit. Less corn in the shell, the cheaper one can make it.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:37 AM on May 2, 2013


Metafilter: FUCK this taco.
posted by jquinby at 5:48 AM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


There are people who don't like guacamole?

I think it's only sort of okay and also that it makes me very, very ill, so I avoid it. I suppose that's pretty close to disliking it.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:09 AM on May 2, 2013


Tonight for dinner I will be making refried black beans with chipotle in adobo, slicing avocado, crunching up a bag of doritos, combining that with cheese shreds, and rolling it up in a burrito. This is the best idea I've had all week.
posted by rmless at 10:21 AM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


After the article on "The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food" and now this, I think food product developers (?) have now topped the list of pretentious people I want to punch in the face. I couldn't even finish that article, especially after the editors note that an early death by breathing in noxious clouds of Doritos flavoring would be just great.

As far as taco bell goes, it was one of those "gross food places I'll eat at anyway when I'm drunk/stoned because fuck it, it's tasty" until I ate nothing but Steak and Potato burritos for almost 3 days ($1.50! WOW!) and, well, you can imagine. It's now relegated to the "basically not even food" category where it always belonged.
posted by nTeleKy at 10:56 AM on May 2, 2013


White Castle.
posted by WASP-12b at 1:08 PM on May 2, 2013


I saw Cookie Dough Pop-Tarts for sale awhile back.

So one of my secretly enjoyable places to shop is Grocery Outlet, which sells whatever other stores are about to throw out because of close-to-expiration dates or discontinued flavors or the stuff fell off a truck and GO has the best random Pop-Tart flavors. They never have normal flavors like brown sugar cinnamon but instead stuff like Peanut Butter & Jelly (agh), Vanilla Milkshake (tasted like a sugar cookie) and some berry kind that wasn't notable for the flavor but for a written message that mysteriously appears on the frosting after the PopTart is toasted (unfortunately the message was not Redrum).
posted by jamaro at 3:14 PM on May 2, 2013


Del Taco. Most are open 24 hours, and their chicken soft tacos are THE BEST.

And they serve breakfast at night, starting at like 11:00 or 11:30 pm. Two of their little breakfast burritos and a little bag of those crinkly french fries is the best post-club meal in the world.
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:08 PM on May 2, 2013


This is the best thread in metafilter history. Nacho cheese gas chamber is what we used to call my IBS roommate's bedroom.
posted by hellslinger at 6:00 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Did the editors really need to add that being gassed in a Nacho Cheese Gas Chamber would be "what a way to go"?"

Unlike regular gas chambers, which kinda suck to die in :/
posted by klangklangston at 7:17 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't know whether to be happy or disappointed that Taco Bells are few and of limited menus in BC.
posted by deborah at 8:37 PM on May 2, 2013


FUCK this taco

Sung to the tune of "Shake Your Booty".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:06 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fuck fuck fuck!
Fuck fuck fuck!
Fuck this taco!
Fuck this taaah-co!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:06 AM on May 3, 2013


You know what a "complete rethink of traditional Mexican cuisine" would be? CHINESE. This kind of management-speak gives me brain pain.

Btw: I second hellslinger.
posted by Transl3y at 11:28 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


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