In an increasingly post-truth era—where Kid Rock's nascent Senate bid is endorsed by the 53rd Governor of New York and jurors are dismissed from trials for voicing their distaste with the way Martin Shkreli "disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan"—determining what does and does not constitute a "taco" is a Sisyphean task, bound to induce an existential crisis in even the most profound of thinkers.
Whether it be waffles, biscuits, fried chicken, croissants, or deformed Doritos, the nearly endless range of food items that the fast food industry now considers to be a taco shell may have you thinking that someone out there is conducting a crude experiment in metaphysical nihilism, one that nobody bothered to inform the public about.
To muddy the waters even further, this week, the world bore witness as Taco Bell unveiled their latest oddity: a breakfast taco that has a fried egg as the shell, dubbed the Naked Egg Taco.
The ads say this taco is "wearing nothing but a fried egg" and that's the gimmick—the shell is simply a fried and folded egg. Following in the footsteps of the Naked Chicken Chalupa, the Naked Egg Taco takes what's inside and puts it on the outside.
According to Emili Matsumura, senior brand manager at Taco Bell, the idea for the Naked Egg Taco arose in a brainstorm session and started as an omelette taco: "The idea was a yellow omelette shell, filled with breakfast ingredients on the inside. We thought that was pretty cool, but we were trying to think: how do you take it one step further?"
This being 2017, the development team's next thought turned to social media. Matsumura explained to MUNCHIES, "We were thinking about the "tweetability" or how "Instagrammable" this product would be, and our team thought, 'Well, what if it's actually a fried egg instead of an omelette shell? So that you actually see the yellow yolk?'" Thus, an unlikely breakfast treat was born.
Although you might think it would be hard to eat a taco with a shell made out of a fried egg, Matsumura explained that the development process for the Naked Egg Taco was fairly quick and straightforward. She explained, "Of course, there was some back and forth—we want to make sure it had the right specs and they're all uniform, and they have the right thickness so it doesn't fall apart, but for the most part, from a development standpoint, it didn't take very long. You know, some things that we do do take years to develop but this one probably took maybe two months, if that."
Unlike the Naked Chicken Chalupa taco shell, which, Matsumura said is "incredibly complicated," the Naked Egg Taco is really, seriously just a fried egg. And it's likely not the last of the Franken-shells you'll be seeing from Taco Bell. When asked what was coming down the pipeline, Matsumura wouldn't elaborate on anything specific, but she did tell us, "I think that shell innovation at Taco Bell is where we win, and so I would definitely say we will continue to explore these ideas. It's what we do, and we're Taco Bell, and shell innovation is what we're known for."
Why do we envision ourselves, in the very near future, holding a slab of meat in which lettuce, tomatoes, and guac are enfolded? Selfie, anyone?