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Rutgers Man Behind Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Taco – Your Guilty Pleasure Fast Food

A Rutgers guy came up with this concoction - Youtube
A Rutgers guy came up with this concoction – Youtube

Generally when I think of fast food, my mind wanders to Chinese.

Maybe it’s an old school thing, but what could be faster than wonton soup, some lo mein, perhaps boneless ribs – things like that.

And God knows, right up there with being the pizza capitol of America (or so I say); we also have per capita the greatest number of Chinese take out places in the country.
And most are pretty decent.

However, fast food in the past 30 or so years has taken on a different tenor.

Start with McDonalds back in the 60s and work your way through the miasma of franchised fast food places that have sprung up since.

Everyone has their favorite fast food – whether it be from one of our fabled grease trucks, Chinese take-out; pizza joint; or any of the franchised restaurants.

One of the most successful of the “guilty pleasure” fast foods is the new Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco, which is the brainchild of Rutgers product, Steve Gomez.

And when the product sold 100 million after 10 weeks on the market, Steve became an instant celebrity in the fast food world.

Perhaps not so much in the world of dietitians.

According to this story from nj.com:

Steve Gomez – who holds a master’s degree in Food Science from Rutgers University – was the first to make a crunchy taco shell out of Doritos.

Gomez told the magazine he had to overcome two obstacles: One was to prevent the Dorito taco from breaking like a tortilla chip; the other to capture the zesty flavor of a Dorito and the crunch of a Taco Bell taco.

“Customers wanted to get cheese dust on their fingers after they ate a Doritos Locos Taco, because that was the experience they got when eating the chips,” Gomez told the magazine. Business Insider reports the seasoning was a challenge because orange dust flew everywhere, posing a hazard to workers. After 40 recipes, Gomez found the perfect recipe.

He also found the perfect shell by using the same corn masa found in Dorito’s chips.
When the tacos hit restaurants two years ago this month, Taco Bell sold 100 million in 10 weeks on the market, making the product the most successful item the restaurant has ever introduced, according to abcnewsradioonline.com. For his efforts, Gomez was given the President’s Award, which is Taco Bell’s highest honor.

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A high honor indeed for inventing one of the tastiest combinations in fast food lore – and a dubious distinction for adding to the ongoing cholesterol and obesity problem in the United States.

But we all indulge every now and then – don’t we?

Do you have a favorite guilty pleasure fast food – and what is it?

While I admitted above to a weakness for Chinese, my real favorite would have to the be the sausage, broccoli rate pizza with the sesame seed crust from Esposito’s in Matawan.

A tad pricey, but well worth it!

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