March 1, 2011

Taco Bell Beefy Crunch Burrito

Taco Bell may have created the eighth wonder of the processed food world when it placed the Beefy Crunch Burrito on its menu. A tortilla joins ground beef, rice, nacho cheese, sour cream and Flamin' Hot Fritos to create one of the biggest "Are you serious?" food's I've seen behind the fast-food counter.

That's right, foodies. Taco Bell's ground beef, the composition of which has been questioned recently by a lawsuit -- the suit says the meat is composed of only 35% beef, while The Bell's CEO claims that number is 88% -- wasn't enough processed fodder for this bad-boy burrito. Fritos corn chips, which have a label reading like the glossary of a collegiate chemistry textbook, had to be thrown on top.

To be fair, Fritos do contain corn, according to the label. But anyone who's tasted them knows they aren't exactly fresh off the cob. This combination sounds like it could be something straight out of a science fiction novel: more plastic than organic. So how did this conglomeration of prepackaged, processed gobbledygook taste to the mouth?

Pretty darn good, actually. While I can't vouch for whether it pickled my intestines, it tickled my taste buds in pleasing ways.

The rice, sour cream, beef and cheese all mesh in a tried-and-true combination of salty flavor that runs through much of Taco Bell's food. And the Fritos add just about the perfect amount of texture.

Don't get me wrong -- they aren't crunchy. All that gooey cheese and soft sour cream quickly saturates the Fritos, neutralizing their natural (?) crunch. Even so, they retain a hint of crispness that's satisfying enough to bite into but not hard enough to pierce your gums. That's a major plus. There's nothing worse than a stray shard of tortilla or taco shell digging itself haphazardly between your teeth as you chomp on your Taco Bell.

The Fritos come up a little shorter in the spicy department. Flamin' Hot may be their prefix, but fiery spice ain't the name of their game. I've tasted hotter oyster crackers. Even so, they added a hint of flavor to the meal.

Once all the pros and cons are processed, the Taco Bell Beefy Crunch Burrito wraps up a very solid three-and-a-half sporks out of five. I could have used a little more spice to live up to the name, and this concoction is screaming for a stray chunk of lettuce or two to add an organic touch. In the end, though, who cares if it's grown in the ground or molded in a factory? Does it matter whether the beef is actually made of cows? This tastes like a winner.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:55 PM

    I applaud this food critic for standing up to the anti-Taco Bell hysteria gripping the nation. Of course there isn't 100% beef in the beef and it was foolish to expect that there was. I want 100% flavor regardless of the constituent ingredients.

    Taco Bell combining imitation corn chips with imitation beef boldly proclaims that we have indeed entered a brave new world. A world that is focused on flavor; a focus that cannot and will not be bounded by what mother nature offers.

    May this food critic continue to boldly go where the establishment won't.