The first people to test Taco Bell's Doritos Locos confection absolutely hated it.
Consumers complained about the taste and the texture, executives told Austin Carr at Fast Company. The shell didn't capture the zesty flavor of a Dorito, or the crunch of a Taco Bell taco.
Instead it was a "displeasing amalgamation of the two flavor profiles," Carr wrote. The team was so discouraged, they feared the brilliant idea would never happen.
But a couple of key innovations by food scientists helped Taco Bell make the creation the popular item it is today.
The team had to figure out a way to make a shell that was crunchy like a chip, but didn't break, executives told Business Insider last year. This was challenging because Doritos and taco shells are made of different kinds of corn masa.
Customers also 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.
But seasoning the tacos was a challenge. Orange dust was getting everywhere, presenting a possible hazard to workers.
More than 40 recipes later, scientists finally figured out a way to create the perfect Dorito taco shell.
They also figured out a way to contain the cheese dust in the production process.
The final product was worth years of effort.
Today, Taco Bell has sold more than 450 million Doritos Locos Tacos, and is launching a Cooler Ranch version.
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