Taco Bell wants to create a vivid image in your mind when you separate the parts of its new quesalupa. Specifically, the chain wants the pepper jack cheese stuffed in the shell of its new quesadilla-chalupa combo to stretch satisfyingly before it breaks. The company’s chief food innovation and beverage officer, Liz Bell, calls the phenomenon the “cheese-pully thing.” The company spent two years perfecting the technique.
Taco Bell monitors social media commentary about the quesalupa and even sends instructions to specific restaurant locations when customers complain that the item isn’t appropriately cheesy. A proper quesalupa has a shell that’s fried for 90 seconds and and isn’t allowed to sit for more than 15 minutes after it’s prepared, lest the cheese start to harden.
The new menu item is a centerpiece of Taco Bell’s 2016 promotional campaign, including a $5 million Super Bowl ad that compared the quesalupa to man-buns, drones and James Harden’s beard. Chain owner Yum! Brands is looking for the brand to help boost its profits as sister divisions KFC and Pizza Hut struggle to increase revenue.