We here at Shameless Consumer Industries generally don’t like to review limited time items for obvious reasons, but we had to take a look at the Double Chalupa from Taco Bell while that pending lawsuit complaint from the McDonald’s PR firm makes its way through our counsel’s small intestine. The double chalupa isn’t new at Taco Bell, it shows up once every few years.
This year it even comes with a spicy version, chock full of enough jalapeno to make you say “that wasn’t as spicy as I thought it would be” while simultaneously putting your grandmother and white friends in the hospital. Not much more to say about the marketing campaign, so let’s dive in.
In order to fully understand the double chalupa, we must go back, BACK I SAY, to the ancient days of yore, long before the age of written word, when monks passed along history from one generation to the next solely through verbal conversation, good memory, and hot iron branding. These are the ages in which we find our hero, Lupa, a fair maiden living her life in the fields of what is present day Mexico.
Lupa tended the lush and prosperous fields day in and day out, as she kept her village fed with plentiful bounties of corn, lettuce, and tomato while raising her much beloved cattle for their beef, cream, and three cheese nacho blend. Her father a mighty warrior and her mother a sitting judge for the ninth circuit court of appeals, Lupa worked the fields by day and by night she experimented with new and interesting ways to turn her produce into fanciful meals for the peasants in her village who had only known the pure horror of existence.
You see, for the village of Cuarta Comida was just a blip in the kingdom of Tacomartes who up until five years prior had been living under the horrible and tyrannical rule of the Duchess of Hamburg. The Duchess in her unending cruelty passed decree after decree, limiting how those under her rule could live their lives. The beef, she declared, shall only be ground and served in a patty-like form. The grain shall only be formed into small, hand-sized loaves to be filled and eaten as one meal.
But Lupa’s father, as the legend goes, was awoken in the night by an angel who tasked him with freeing his country. “The Duchess controls everything, so you must be cunning to defeat her,” the Angel said as it floated above his bedside. “She has nigh unlimited power, but her creativity is restrained by her breaded abomination. In order to defeat the Duchess and free your people, you must be willing to think…outside the bun.” Lupa’s father drew his sword, mounted his steed, and was away at once toward the castle in which the Duchess lived. If he was going to strike, he needed to strike now.
This is the part of the story where the legends start to split in their recounting of the tale. Most historians generally agree that Lupa’s father poisoned the Duchess however his poison of choice is not entirely set in stone. What we do know is that the poison was apparently applied to her pillow, and the Duchess later died due to complications arising from a particularly aggressive form of conjunctivitis (pink eye). In his will, Lupa’s father thanked her for he could not have completed his holy mission without Lupa’s delicious sustenance.
As the years went on following the death of the Duchess of Hamburg and the disappearance of Lupa’s father, the town prospered and grew enormous in its population. Lupa gave birth to five children, two boys and three girls, all of whom she named Marion. Her five children left upon reaching adulthood at the ripe age of eight and Lupa was once again left alone to tend the fields and feed the needy people of her village.
And one day, a sick traveler came upon Lupa’s house. He had great pains in his stomach, and was afraid that he would surely die if not tended to. Lupa brought him into her house and, in a fit of ingenuity, decided to use the man as a guinea pig for her big experiment. With the precision of a master, she molded and baked her corn tortilla shell, added the seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, and the three cheese blend. The sick man now on the verge of death, writhing in pain on her cot, Lupa fed the man her concoction.
He grew still, and for a moment Lupa thought him to have passed. Seconds turned into minutes, and around a half hour later the man suddenly bolted up from his rest and ran out the door full of piss and vinegar. Lupa was shocked, she didn’t know how to react. Several minutes later the man entered back into the house looking much more energetic and lively. He thanked Lupa for her nourishment and apologized for, as he put it, painting the wall of the neighbor’s house brown.
For months he had traveled the lands looking for someone who could help him wreak revenge upon the demon that blocked up his body with a diet of beer and raw meat. He pointed to the remaining meal and said “in my village a fair maiden such as yourself created a dish very similar to this. We called it a charosa, as her name was Rosa. But you, you made something so much more. This meal is filling and invigorating, yet light enough to have for a meal after dinner. You should call it a double chalupa.”
The man could not pay her, as he did not have any money, but he promised to spread the story of her good deeds far and wide, and would make it his life’s mission to have her sanctified by the church of something (church may be a mistranslation as there was no known organized religion at this point in history). As he left, Lupa asked the man’s name. Montezuma, he replied.
Unfortunately this was also the olden days when thirty five was considered geriatric age, and giving birth five times with no hospitals and evidently no male partner had hastened Lupa to her end of life duties. She summoned her children via carrier slave, and they rushed to her side to see her off on her deathbed and to bequeath upon them her final gifts.
To her son Marion, she gifted her tortilla mould. To her daughter Marion, her three cheese nacho blend recipe. To her other son Marion, her tortilla recipe. To her daughter Marion, the family cattle. To her other daughter Marion, the family farm. And to her final daughter Marion, the writing utensil she had borrowed about ten years prior.
And as her life faded before her family’s eyes, Lupa gave her final speech. “My children, you must travel north and bring the prosperity that I have left you to all of those that you meet. Even if it takes a hundred generations, I want you to spread my message of love, of good food, and more importantly, the greatness that can come when you think outside the bun. Spread our authentic cuisine or my name isn’t Lupa Ruiz de Juno Nepomuceno María de los Concerto Cinco Dólares por Pie de Largo Cajita Feliz y Tacobel. Now go, and live mas.”
As for the Taco Bell Double Chalupa, it’s pretty tasty. Great deal since the $5 box includes another taco, churros, and a drink.
Verdict: 5/5 – Tasty, filling, and a great deal.