Thursday, January 18, 2007

An Overdue Report

Last spring, I reported that my friend Ganga, while in Tanzania, had enjoyed a bite of a Taco Bell enchilada care of a kit sent to one of her friends. I think she wept from its goodness, knowing a long time would follow before she had "real" Taco Bell.

However, Whipcreamy and I took to the streets of our respective cities to find this Taco Bell "kit". What was it? Where could we get it? We must find it, eat it, and report on it. The search was eventually called off. Or so I thought. Safeways, K-Marts, Giants, authentic Mexican grocery stores all did not carry this item. Though we had Taco Bell restaurants at hand, we still empathized with Ganga.

Many long months passed. I forgot my purpose. Thankfully, Whipcreamy received a one month free trial membership to BJs. BJs is a Sams Club, a Costco, etc. A Buy Large Quanities of Food and Toothpaste and Try to Eat/Use It All Before It Goes Bad sorta place.

So on New Year's Eve, Whipcreamy shows up with a Taco Bell Taco Kit complete with: refried beans, 12 hard taco shells, 10 taco tortillas, nacho chips, nacho cheese, and two huge sauce packets. on the box it says: "just add onions, cheese, beef, sour cream, guacamole, and tomatoes!"--not quite the usual "just add water" label. but whateves! it was a box full of intrigue and expectations and i am forever indepted to whip for this.

There were too many people with which to share this treasure at the New Year's gathering so I busted it out the day of my return to D.C.

We added onions, tomatoes, and cheese. We made double decker tacos. soft tacos. hard tacos. it was DELICIOUS. part of me has a hard time crediting Taco Bell with the deliciousness, though, because the cheese and onions and tomatoes are a big part of the experience. If i opened the box and hadn't had cheese...can you imagine??

I did come to a couple possibly life-changing realizations:

Realization #1. Taco Bell is STINGY. check out the amount of refried beans included in the kit:

Yes, that is right, the gray can above is the amount of refried beans (a cheap ingredient, yes) included in a kit with 12 TACO SHELLS and 10 TORTILLAS!! I know it said to add ground beef but seriously, shouldn't we expect the beans to fill at least half of the shells? Look at it--practically as big as a can of tuna (no, tuna was not included in the kit, thankfully).

which brings me to realization #2:
Is Taco Bell so cheap because they are so stingy in other markets? If so, I suppose I can deal with sufficient amount of beans lacking. And for the record, these beans look different than the beans at the restaurants. they don't look like the "just add water" type. so that's good. maybe that is also why they felt the need to skimp. who knows, maybe it's the e-coli scandal. Also, the nacho chips are different: circles, not triangles. And the sauce included inthe kit is different from the sauce in the little packets served at Taco Bells. Why the difference? Stinginess is the only option. ANd you know, i say i can accept stinginess if it brings a deal around the corner in a different format but i think that is a lie. stinginess is never acceptable.

realization #3: eating nachos not as an appetizer but along side the main menu items is brilliant. i know this realization is past due, to say the least, but it if neither my realizations 1 ro 2 strike you as life changing, this one should. I have to credit my friend James for this technique. He's been hiding it from me for awhile but I shall give kudos nonetheless. The remarkable thing it does is prolong the meal. You don't want that cheese gordita crunch ever to fully disappear into your body, do you? well, it'll last longer if you eat some chips--a break if you will.

Here is a picture just to give you a better idea of the kit's contents:

(yes, that is my kitchen. quaint, eh?)

And another example of the stinginess--look at these little shells!


Blogger anne altman said...

I'm thinking "different distributor" in regards to the Taco Bell Kit's contents. in other words:

You just can't bottle the experience, can you?

Unless you're in prison. Then it's good enough.

12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

no, you can't.
and you can't bottle cheese either.

12:59:00 PM  

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