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Taco Bell's (new) black tacos

The hard shells are black. Is anything else different? Is the flavor better or at least different?
What kind of corn did they use?

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  1. Why don't you try one, and report back. That way you can be a Chowhound Pioneer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Muskrat

      There's a "pepper jack" sauce on the taco in addition to the usual ingredients. I put it in quotations because I'll have to take TB's word that that's what it was. I saw a white sauce on the taco but there wasn't much difference in taste.

      I thought the shell was less crisp than the regular shell but I have that problem with any colored taco shell or corn chips.

      On the whole, I didn't think the sauce was worth the extra calories. Your mileage may vary.

    2. it's hard for me to think of many things that sound less appetizing to me than a black taco bell taco.

      12 Replies
      1. re: chez cherie

        Maybe it's a squid ink shell (blahhhh)

        1. re: kimmieokc

          please, they wouldn't got through the trouble.... its just food coloring. I wonder if your tongue turns black?

          1. re: libgirl2

            Forget about your tongue...think about your colon. Taco Bell is a grease party, proceed with caution.

              1. re: Fibber McGee

                I haven't seen any ads for Taco Bell featuring black tacos.
                I assume it is a promotion for Halloween?
                Now there is blue corn. It is a corn that is blue naturally and is used mainly in places like Arizona and New Mexico. You can buy blue corn chips in the grocery stores.
                There is also in old seed catalogs a corn called Black Mexican. The corn is white at first, but naturally turns black. You could Google it, someone might still sell the seeds. There is also an heirloom corn called Howling Mob. How in the world it got it's name I will never ever know.
                Now i think blue corn chips kind of look more of a grayish color, but it's been awhile since I have eaten them.
                Now if the shells are black,I mean real black, then they either used squid ink to dye them or some awful fake food color.I have seen around here at Christmas time tortilla chips dyed red and green.

                1. re: HollyDolly

                  The ad is all over the tv these days, all the time, saw it lot on Sunday during football.

                  1. re: HollyDolly

                    Squid ink? Black food color. More than likely the same food color used to make Halloween cakes and stuff.

                    1. re: HollyDolly

                      Don't over analyze it.
                      It's just a black taco shell dyed with food coloring.
                      It doesn't appear to be a Halloween promotion.
                      More like "black" is edgy and the in color.

                        1. re: Fibber McGee

                          Checking your past posts. I knew the Goldbergs at Stage Deli. I wish I could duplicate that rye. Anyway your regional accent is a little off.
                          But that ain't the way I heerd it.

                  2. re: libgirl2

                    You're right. It would take waaay to long to milk that many squids;)

              2. I tried 2 the other day. they weren't bad. I think the black shell is just food coloring, because it didn't taste any different than a normal taco shell. They put a melted jack cheese on it which is a little spicy. I'd buy them again when I get one of my once every 6 months Taco Bell craving.

                1. Once again reminds me of the brilliant Onion headline:

                  "Taco Bell's Five Ingredients Combined in Totally New Way."

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ferret

                    Ha ha, the Taco Bell think tank must be working way overtime these days.

                  2. Different color exterior, same ole junk. You can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig!

                    1. I had one the other day, and must say I was underwhelmed. It was about 1/2 inch thick with a scant amount of filing. And it didn't taste any different than the regular taco. I probably won't bother the next time.

                      1. I have a bag of blue corn chips on my counter right now...they really do look black! I'll bet those taco shells are just blue corn, period.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Val

                          im just curious, what makes you like blue corn chips over regular tortilla chips? apparently the posters on this board say the black chips taste no different. are blue corn c hips the same as tortilla s?

                          1. re: RCTRIPLEFRESH5

                            Blue corn contains lysine, an essential amino acid...and there's more fiber in these chips than other corn chips, 3 g per 1 ounce serving; and these are low-sodium 40 mgs per 1 ounce serving. I'm referring to Whole Foods 365 Organic Blue Corn chips house brand specifically...I also like Publix Greenwise Blue corn chips. I don't make a habit of eating these every day, but I do like them once in a while. Whatever...I stay away from fast food as much as possible so am not trying to promote this black taco one way or another...the other posters may be correct that it's "dyed" but why go to all that trouble when you can just use blue corn for the product?

                            1. re: Val

                              For the reason the article you are linking to that yield from blue corn is less than half of regular hybrid corn it would make sense that blue corn flour would be more expensive and it would be much cheaper to add food coloring than to use blue corn flour.

                              Ever notice that blue corn tortilla chips cost more than regular tortilla chips?

                              1. re: monku

                                I don't remember if the price is very different...I'm always looking for a better nutrition bang for my buck these days anyway...I think the Publix Greenwise organic yellow and blue chips are the same price but I'm probably wrong and I totally don't remember about the Whole Foods 365 house brand chips. Well, it will be interesting to find out the Taco Bell black taco answer! Hope someone finds out soon!

                                1. re: monku

                                  monku, I was in Publix tonight and did a quick price comparison of their blue corn chips vs. yellow...no difference...9 ounce bag is $2.69 for each. The Garden of Eatin' was the same price too...$2.50 per bag.

                            2. re: Val

                              Eaten a lot of blue corn tortilla chips and they aren't as black as this looks;

                              I'm sure a short amount of time we'll find out. I still say a black dyed yellow corn tortilla.

                              1. re: monku

                                Maybe they add black bean to the taco shells. I've seen some black-ish tortilla chips that were dark because of this.

                            3. Here's a link to a review of the Black Jack:


                              Haven't been able to find any specific ingredient listing for that black shell.

                              And BTW, Taco Bell uses TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone) in many of their products as a preservative. Many consider TBHQ to be nasty and toxic. Here's a quote from Wikipedia about other uses for this lovely ingredient:

                              "It is used industrially as a stabilizer to inhibit autopolymerization of organic peroxides. In perfumery, it is used as a fixative to lower the evaporation rate and improve stability. It is also added to varnishes, lacquers, resins, and oil field additives."


                              Also be advised that McDonald's uses TBHQ in their chicken nuggets...

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: Val

                                Being an additive to those things doesn't make it bad. I really don't know what it is and try to stay away from as much artificial food as possible but to discount something simply because it's added to petroleum products isn't right.


                                1. re: Davwud

                                  It prevents cooking oils from turning rancid.

                                  1. re: ferret

                                    Does the wikipedia article mention that?

                                    1. re: Fibber McGee

                                      Hmm, it appears that it does, in the very first sentence:

                                      TBHQ is a highly effective preservative for unsaturated vegetable oils and many edible animal fats. It does not cause discoloration even in the presence of iron, and does not change flavor or odor of the material to which it is added. It can be combined with other preservatives such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). As food additive, its E number is E319, where it is used as a preservative. It is added to a wide range of foods, with highest limit[clarification needed] (1000 mg/kg) permitted for frozen fish and fish products. Its primary advantage is enhancing storage life.

                                2. re: cmvan

                                  And just because it says somthing in Wikipedia that automatically makes it correct and unbiased?

                                  I bet none of you out there ever had acetylsalicylic acid with a dihydrogen monoxide chaser. Nasty chemical stuff, that.

                                  1. re: rockycat

                                    Are you referring to an aspirin with a glass of water? Nearly killed me, once, LOL.
                                    It's just black food coloring, although there's no mention of this on the specific ingredients list-what else could it be!?! Ah, just one of the mysteries of life.