I apologize for taking so long to taste test the obvious fast food phenomenon of the moment, but a couple of things held me up.
1. I hate Cool Ranch Doritos.
2. Taco Bell's tacos basically suck.
'Twas not always thus. In my youth, I adored Nacho Cheese Doritos and Taco Bell. I'm not sure what put me off the Doritos, but now they mostly taste like salty death to me. As for the Bell, sometime during the '90s their meat took a turn for the worse and never recovered. I was hoping the horsemeat rumors were true, as it would probably be an upgrade.
Still, I would not be daunted. Julia likes Cool Ranch Doritos. Unfortunately, she hates Taco Bell. But when I persuaded her this would help me out, and she could eat McDonald's afterwards to cleanse the palate, she agreed.
(Those of you who wanted more self-loathing: how does "putting a strain on your relationship in order to assess a horrible piece of junkfood" sound?)
Read on. Verbatim quotes are after the jump.
Julia: Well, first of all you can tell your dear readers that I'm gonna kick your butt because you're making me eat horsemeat taco. (Takes bite) This is it? This is seriously freakin' it?
Me: Does it taste any different at all?
J: I mean, if I lick my fingers, yeah. It's just kind of, they took old Doritos and made 'em into a shell.
Me: Is it gross, or is it okay? You don't have to finish it.
J: Well, I mean, it's food. And, like, it's a taco, but it's not, "Holy shit! It's a taco!"
Me: How does it compare to, like, a regular Del Taco taco?
J: I barely get any hint of the Doritos flavor.
Me: They're $1.39. A Del Taco taco is like 59 cents.
J: Uh, yeah, much better deal at 59 cents. If you're desperate for Cool Ranch Doritos, go to the gas station. They're 99 cents. Anyway, okay, you know how with the red-shell Volcano taco, you can actually taste some heat?
Me: Well, that's because they put a sauce in that one.
J: Well, yeah, but you know how if you eat the shell, you get a "whoo!" out of the shell? Okay, if I freakin' lick the shell, I get maybe A HINT of Cool Ranch, but this is a boring-ass taco, and I can't believe you made me eat a horsemeat taco. I mean, seriously: EAT SOME OF THIS! Try it. It's horse taco.
[At this point I took a bite and indeed, aside from a mildly irritating aftertaste, I discerned little difference between it and the basic taco. I could eat this if I had to.]
J: It's just a boring-ass taco.
Me: All right, well that's our experiment over.
J: Do they have just regular tacos for cheaper than this? Yeah, just get the regular taco. You're not missing much.
[As the evening wore on, the assessment got harsher and harsher, until I could expect the phrase "Shittiest taco ever!" to be sent my way at least once an hour. I could have made a drinking game of it.]