In the world of fast-food Taco Bell has shown speed in interesting ways. The owner Glen Bell…that’s right. You though it was named after the sound making device, clapper and all. I’m with you, I was wrong too. Named after a dude, oh well. And like many starting restaurant legends, he began this one in a small 20’x20’ location. But first a little backstory.
He had a few ventures that were reasonably successful, starting with a burger joint, then partnerships that owned Taco Tia and El Taco. He divested himself of those ventures to become sole owner and developer of Taco Bell. Apparently, he learned well, starting in 1962 he hit a hundred restaurants, including franchised locations, in 1967. Three years later he took the company public with 375 outlets. PepsiCo bought them up, 868 stores in 1978, and accelerated their growth from a regional star to nationally recognized icon.
Yo Quiero Taco Bell
That’s right, like everybody else you want to know all the dirt on the Taco Bell chihuahua. First appearing in 1997, at the peak of the “Burger Wars” (you heard that right, another supposed food fight of zero consequence) he/she started that famous catch phrase. You see, as I am sure almost all of you already know, the character was acted by Gidget, a female pupper – don’t you call her a b-tch – but was voiced by a male comedian. Of course, the gender issue was completely avoided by never giving the character a name, merely the “Taco Bell Chihuahua” moniker.
After bringing us other such great phrases as “Drop the Chalupa” and “Viva Gorditas”, she was summarily dismissed in 2000. Like so many Hollywood icons she was discarded and forgotten due to a lack of commercial success, and no longer adding to the sales production of a greedy corporation. An unforgiving profession in an unforgiving city. Gidget found other work with GEICO and in the Legally Blonde movie sequel. But you could tell her heart wasn’t in it, and she passed in obscurity in 2009 and was cremated. As Taco Bell said, despite discarding her at her prime, “Our deepest sympathies go out to her owners and fans”. Another legend faded into obscurity, at least we have our plushie to remember her by.
So, they gave the dog the boot, lost a multimillion-dollar suit to the guys who actually created the dog idea, although it was frighteningly named “Psycho Chihuahua” (aren’t all Chihuahuas a little psycho?) and that decade was not off to a great start for the organization. The horizon grew bright in the summer of 2005 when the Crunchwrap Supreme was introduced. The rest is, as they say history. An oddly obvious statement since it all happened a while ago, but there you are.
In this case, it was their most successful launch ever, sales took off, and in a mere 6 months, January 2006, the Crunchwrap earned a prestigious spot as a permanent menu item. Such a lofty pedestal to climb in so short a time, one is humbled by the greatness. Okay, maybe not, but it is a darn tasty food item, and not too difficult to make your own way. What it really shows though, is the versatility of the Americanized Mexican food ingredients. A few base components and you get a geometric progression of potential foods by weaving them in and out.
- 16 Ounces Ground beef cooked as taco meat
- 4 12” Flour tortillas
- 4 Tostada style tortillas
- 8 Ounces Sour cream
- 8 Ounces Shredded cheese
- ¼ Onion diced
- ¼ Head lettuce shredded
- 8 Ounces Salsa
- Shred lettuce and dice onion
- If your flour tortilla is cold, microwave it for 20 seconds at low power. Place it on a work surface and make a 5-6” circle of shredded cheese.
- Add a layer of your taco beef atop the cheese
- Add a couple ounces of your salsa of choice evenly over the meat
- Place tostada or chips on top
- Spread a couple ounces sour cream on tostada
- Preheat your skillet or griddle to medium heat
- Add lettuce, onion, or whatever your choices are for the fresh layer
- Fold the tortilla up to the edge of the tostada
- Fold one end of that first fold toward the center, repeat this process 6 or 7 times until the tortilla wraps the filling completely
- Put the folded sides down until you have prepped all your crunch wraps
- Spray or spread a light coat of oil on the cooking surface
- With the folded side down, place the wraps on the griddle or cooking surface
- Place a heat safe pan or pot to press the wrap down, heavy enough to get good contact with the surface, not so heavy as to overly squish your food, cook for 2-3 minutes
- Flip the wraps, continue to cook another 3-5 minutes without the weight
- Serve with your favorite sides & sauces, and enjoy!