Could the home of taco innovation really be the Taco Bell Test Kitchen?


From Taco Tuesday to National Taco Day, tacos are everywhere. Does the Taco Bell Test Kitchen really help produce taco innovation?

We’ve all been there. It’s late, hungry (maybe hungover) and Taco Bell is calling our name. From the 10 taco pack to the chimichanga, everyone has had at least once run to the border. While fast food has its place in food culture, is the Taco Bell Test Kitchen really the home of taco innovation?

In honor of the upcoming National Taco Day celebration, Taco Bell has kicked off a variety of special programs and contests. One intriguing event is a special dinner at the Taco Bell’s Test Kitchen. Fans will have the chance to have dinner at the secret, undisclosed Taco Bell lab, aka test kitchen. The dining event will be a five course plated menu.

(PRNewsfoto/Taco Bell Corp.)

While the special event menu hasn’t been released, Taco Bell fans can only dream about the menu options. Could Doritos Locos Tacos or the Quesalupa make the five course meal? Maybe the Taco Bell chefs will dream up some other wild taco inspired creation.

Of course, Taco Bell has a place in the food world, but is it truly the home of taco innovation? Personally, that distinction is a little more hyperbole than truth. Not to be a food snob, but if I’m looking for taco food trends, I might search Rick Bayless or Aaron Sanchez. Even a few hours on Food Network or The Chew could produce some thoughtful taco discussion. But, Taco Bell?

Like many fast food choices, Taco Bell is a guilty pleasure. Most people don’t look at this fast food as the best taco in the nation. It would be like comparing a burger at Au Cherval to a McDonalds Big Mac. Still, Taco Bell, and their innovating tacos, can influence how people eat tacos.

Take the Doritos Locos Tacos as an example. A taco doesn’t have to be ground beef, hard taco shell and condiments. New flavors, proteins or textures should be explored. If those unlikely Taco Bell creations spur some kitchen creativity, Taco Bell could be the home of taco innovation.

Taco Bell fans will eagerly await the chance to dine at the Taco Bell Test Kitchen. Just like the Spotted Cheetah pop-up restaurant, which featured an all-Cheetos menu, the event will likely sell out quickly. Hopefully, the experience is memorable for the ultimate Taco Bell fans.

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On National Taco Day, will you enjoy a taco or two? I will be enjoying some tacos, but they will probably be from Frontera Cocina. Sorry, Taco Bell, but Rick Bayless has my vote for taco innovation.