This week Taco Bell unveiled its biggest new fake Mexican food product since the Doritos Locos Tacos. What better place to try it than the world’s biggest city with “New” in the name?
Originally posted 2/13/2016
You may have seen the teasing signs plastered all over your local Taco Bell restaurants, or watched the commercials with celebrity types holding up green bricks.
What could it possibly be? The world at large wondered, while those in the snackology know figured it out from the get-go. This was definitely the Quesalupa, a cheese-stuffed taco shell filled with the same boring-ass Taco Bell ingredients.
The name is a combination of quesadilla, a tortilla filled with cheese and other things, and a chalupa, which Taco Bell thinks is a taco with a thick fried flour shell but in real Mexican cuisine is a sort of bowl formed from corn flour.
As Snacktaku central was visiting the Gawker home offices in New York City there was no driving to pick up a new Taco Bell Nonsense Word. I had to walk. In 2o-something degree weather. With strong winds. To get this thing.
Behold the Quesalupa, a combination of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream in a flour tortilla packed with oil! And supposedly pepper jack cheese.
Thing is I couldn’t see the pepper jack. I could however, see plenty of oil.
As I ate the Quesalupa in the video above I feel like I tasted some pepper jack cheese, but I never actually saw it. The inside of the quesadilla-ish shell—the only thing that makes this not just another fucking taco—was not ooey-gooey with cheese. Rather it resembled something biological after the ooey-gooey had been forced out and only oil oozed when squeezed further.
It’s a taco. It’s a taco with a bit more filling. It’s a taco with a bit more filling and a discouragingly chewy outer shell. It’s nearly $5 worth of sadness—more if you went for the chicken or steak varieties.
When all was said and done and the spongy outer shell was consumed, we were left with the same basic shit plastered inside the vast majority of discarded Taco Bell wrappers.
The hype surrounding the Doritos Locos Tacos back in the day was well-deserved. With that frighteningly delicious creation the restaurant took two things and combined them into something that felt fresh and new.
The hype surrounding the Quesalupa is a diversionary tactic, a bit of expensive theater to mask the fact that this is nothing revolutionary. “Guess what our new mystery food item” was the best alternative marketing scheme to something more truthful like “Taco Bell: We Got Nothin’.”
Snacktaku is Kotaku’s take on the wild and wonderful world of eating things, but not eating meals. Eating meals is for those with too much time on their hands.