In an off-the-wall Super Bowl ad on Sunday, Taco Bell released its latest, and perhaps cheesiest, menu offering: the Quesalupa. It's kind of like the taco equivalent of a stuffed-crust pizza, and it came with endorsements from people like George Takei and James Harden. Taco Bell invited TheNextTycoon.biz to a taste test, and let us in on a few secrets about your new favorite post-party snack. Here's what you need to know.
Taco Bell has been working on this for over three years.
Around 2012, the company was inspired by the pupusa, a traditional Salvadoran dish that is a thick corn tortilla stuffed with cheese and other tasty fillings. They combined the pupusa concept with a standard taco, and the Quesalupa was born. In their version, their shell is stuffed with melted pepper jack cheese and surrounds your typical taco fillings.
The appeal is all in the shell.
The Quesalupa shell has more of a tortilla-like flavor than the crunchier Chalupa, but more structural integrity than a typical soft taco shell. It's got just the right amount of crisp to hold together all that cheese, which is gooey and stretchy without being greasy. Combine that with a typical beef taco (or whatever type of taco, since you can customize it) and you get a dish that's more of a late-night craving than an every day meal. Check out the cheese in action.
There's a breakfast version, too.
According to Kat Garcia, a senior marketing manager at Taco Bell, a breakfast Quesalupa will be available this week. It involves a sausage patty, breakfast potatoes, and eggs. Although I didn't get to try it, I have a feeling it'll be the best way to have a Quesalupa. Combining gooey cheese with eggs and breakfast meat sounds perfect—as long as you can take a nice, long nap afterward.
Die-hard fans (and anyone in Toledo, Ohio) got early access.
Thirty-six Taco Bells in Toledo, OH got first access to the Quesalupa during the company's initial test last year. And then, in early February, Taco Bell superfans got to take part in a blind taste test, pre-ordering their food without knowing what it would be. Customers picked up their mystery foods on Saturday, February 6 within a two-hour window.
Their Super Bowl ads were way more than just George Takei.
Taco Bell got a ton of attention for its super-strange national Super Bowl ad, featuring hoverboards, man buns, and George Takei. But if you lived in five different local markets, you also got to see a local celebrity chow down on a Quesalupa. Their "Small Town Big Shots" campaign incorporated business owners famous for their local ads in Dallas/Fort Worth, Virginia Beach, Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Eugene, OR and used their own production teams to create even more viral gold. Check out Fancy Ray from Treehouse Furniture in Minneapolis above.
It's only available for a limited time.
Garcia says that the Quesalupa will only be available for 15 weeks. And part of that comes from the fact that every single Quesalupa shell is hand-portioned—and 74 million Quesalupa shells will be handed out during the limited time menu addition.