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Leave it to Chow‘s enterprising James Norton, he of the supertaster disposition, to tackle the latest fast-food controversy: Taco Bell‘s roll out this month of its Cantina Tacos line, which is the national chain’s attempt to keep it real, man. The mega-food-service tacos are allegedly based on genuine Latin street food.
The media backlash has been swift, with food writers from taco-truck-heavy areas employing pet food metaphors, as you might expect:
- The OC Weekly compared the proteins in TB’s tacos to “Fancy Feast™ chunky-style kibble.”
- The Fresno Bee compared the carnitas to “wet dog food.”
Norton is not about to stoop to standard-issue Purina references. He conducts a side-by-side comparison of Taco Bell’s products with those from a Mexican taqueria in Minneapolis, where Norton is based, just to “see how far apart the two are.” Spoiler alert: Norton, with his dry affectation, calls Taco Bell’s carnitas a “hot mess.”