It’s a good time to be a lover of nacho cheese-flavored hard taco shells in America.
General Mills, the parent company of the Old El Paso brand, just announced that it’s bringing Bold Nacho Cheese Flavored Taco Shells back to its Stand N’ Stuff taco shell line in August, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
These new shells will first be baked, then fried, then “blasted” (in the words of Old El Paso) with orange, nacho cheese-y powder. “We took a more topical approach,” OEP R&D manager Rob Clements tells Bloomberg.
If you’re undergoing extreme déjà vu right now, there’s a reason. Old El Paso had the nacho cheese hard taco shell game locked up a full eight years ago, when it first released the Stand ‘N Stuff taco shells in nacho flavor. Apparently, it wasn’t the right time or place for such a groundbreaking, palate-coating product. Sales were underwhelming, and those taco shells were quietly discontinued.
Photo: Old El Paso
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the flavor on the originals was baked in, rather than being blasted on after the cooking process. Clements says the company is using more cheese this time around—and that, in addition to the blasting process, means a cheesier-tasting taco shell.
Another side-benefit of the blasting process? Your fingers will get that lickable orange powder all over them.
The New York Times broke down the science behind why Nacho Cheese Doritos has such a lock on your taste buds. One key trick: that nacho cheese powder is ground so finely that you get maximum flavor impact every time you eat it. Eating it without the chip to distract your taste buds sends them into full-on flavor overload.
What remains to be seen is just how “bold” Old El Paso makes their nacho cheese shells. Smithsonian Magazine points out that there’s no such thing as one true recipe for “nacho cheese.” Anyone who’s tasted Nacho Cheese Doritos and then tasted some other “nacho cheese” chips can tell you that they don’t taste the same. There’s not even any specific cheese that must be included in “nacho” cheese blends.
We’re hoping that El Paso’s nacho cheese taco shells come out with flavor blasting guns blazing, and that we have a full-on taco shell battle on our hands.
[via Bloomberg Businessweek]
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