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Around the Bluhmin’ Town

01/18/17

Judy Bluhm

I ate the taco. After reading about how Jack in the Box sells 554 million tacos a year and has a cult following of “lifers” who indulge every day, I thought I better do some culinary research. Not a big fan of fast food and never even knowing that Jack in the Box sold tacos, it seemed this “taco news” needed some serious taste-testing. So I obliged.

The back story on these tacos is that they are made in one of three plants in Texas and Kansas and then shipped frozen to all the local Jack in the Boxes. Then they are deep fried into deliciousness. Well, I don’t want to get ahead of myself but let’s just say that these tacos are causing quite an uproar, since the 554 million sales report came out. That is a staggering 1,000 bites per minutes! So now we have entire sports teams sampling them, radio talk-show host tasting them on-air and plenty of people speaking out. The “taco story” has taken over the news! Curious? Read on.

One woman described them as “vile but awesome.” A chef in Los Angeles, Adam Koral, who owns two upscale restaurants claims those fifty cent tacos are “the most underrated taco of all time.” Yes, that’s right. Fifty cents a taco! What have I been missing? Oh, and the restaurant owner has tried to “imitate” the Jack in the Box tacos with his own version. Only difference? This chef charges $18 for three tacos that comes with mango salsa. Forget the mangoes! Why would anyone pay eighteen bucks when obviously a dollar fifty is all you need?

So I went to the Jack in the Box in Anthem while visiting my daughter. I got two tacos. When I took them to Kelly, we unwrapped the little brown, crispy envelopes of joy and stared. You cannot actually tell what is inside them because they are almost completely closed up. But don’t we all love a mystery? I bit into my little deep fried pocket of meat, cheese and spices and at first, thought, “not bad.” But the second bite was hotter and by my last bite I was hoping for another. Kelly thought they were “better than anything she could imagine that costs fifty cents.”  Hmmm…more research might be needed.

I took a tray of ten of these tacos to my doctor because I had an appointment close to lunch time. I brought them back for the staff. My doctor grabbed one and said, “I used to eat these all the time in medical school.” He scarfed it down. I asked him for a “health opinion” on the taco and all he could say was, “Well, it is deep fried, so best to avoid these. Unless you can’t.” Then he grabbed another taco and gobbled it up before the nurses ate the rest.

My niece in college said these tacos are a “mainstay” for college students who live in dorms. I have a builder I work with who proudly claims that he eats four of these “great tacos” every Monday and Wednesday for lunch…and has for twenty years! My grandson says he can eat six at a time! One of my colleagues (very health-oriented) said that these tacos should be banned because they are made with “fake meat” and then deep fried so we don’t notice how “awful” they really taste. She also suggested we will all die a terrible death by eating such “junk,” but then this is from someone who thinks tofu tastes good.

Is life worth living without splurging every now and then? Take a walk on the wild side! Add some spice to your otherwise boring day. Give your wallet a rest, your taste buds a treat and your health? Dear Readers, let’s not worry.  After all this scientific, culinary research, I think it is safe to say that we should live our lives “one taco at a time.” Bon appetite!
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.