Taco Bell Co-Opts Dia de los Muertos to Market New "High-End" Tacos

Categories: Mexi Meals

ustacologo.jpg
BLECCH...
In a surprising turn that's about five years too late, Taco Bell--home to the Doritos Loco taco, the enchirito, and "beef"--has announced they're going the Chipotle route and opening a new chain of fast-casual restaurants. U.S.A Taco Co. (geez, I wonder where they got THAT name from...) will offer multicultural tacos that call out various regional American favorites. Philly cheesesteak taco? Why not. Lobster roll taco? Sure. Brisket taco? Been there, done that, but whatever floats your horchata.

It's not surprising the Bell would try to cash in on the multi-culti taco craze--that's not offensive. What IS offensive, though, is U.S.A Taco's logo and apparent design scheme: based on Día de los Muertos, the Mexican religious holiday that American hipsters have annoyingly, terribly embraced as their own in their ever-desperate attempts to be "authentic."

"Taco Bell is Mexican inspired. U.S. Taco is American inspired," Greg Creed, Taco Bell CEO told Nation's Restaurant News, and scratch your head on THAT one. Even on the Dia de los Muertos bit, Creed is years late: bad hipster Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles have been using Day of the Dead themes for years. And hipster taco chains in general have already been established, between Pink Taco and Pinche Tacos, chains whose names I thought pushed the boundaries of taste when it came to appropriating Mexican concepts until U.S. Taco came around.

So the question I have for Creed is: why? Why base your new chain's design scheme on Dia de los Muertos? Do you think such a scheme somehow makes you more "authentic" and differentiates U.S. Taco as being "hip", as opposed to Taco Bell's plebeian paradise? Do you really think Mexicans are going to be fine with this (like they weren't with Disney's efforts to trademark the name), or do you just not care about non-stoner Mexicans?

The first U.S. Taco opens in--where else?--Huntington Beach this summer. Heaven help us all...

Follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook! And don't forget to download our free Best Of App here!

My Voice Nation Help
66 comments
Eric Christner
Eric Christner

Say hipster one more and see what happens, lol. Weren't hard shell Tacos invented in California and nachos invented in Arizona and Enchuritos invented by them?Taco Bell is already American food. Terrible American food.

Justin Henretta
Justin Henretta

you do know that chipotle is owned by mcdonalds, right? so.. why couldn't this work?

Justin McMahon
Justin McMahon

Either the tacos are good or they ain't. The end

Jorge Marquez
Jorge Marquez

Taco Bell is to Mexican food, as Taco Bell is to nutritious.

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Ran once; shared twice—it happens!

Jackie Wise
Jackie Wise

The must of got the idea from Tacolicious

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

"The first U.S. Taco opens in--where else?--Huntington Beach this summer."

LMFAO

Charlie Wilson
Charlie Wilson

And you thought the Spanish were bad, you ain't seen nothing yet! you don't know what these gabacho transnational corporations are capable of!

Kristy McDaniel
Kristy McDaniel

This is horrible. Who needs taco bell as a high class joint charging an arm and a leg for a taco? We have food trucks that are 10k times better and charge less!!!!! $4 per taco? It better be as big as a burrito!

Niko Babic
Niko Babic

Welcome to assimilation. Less filling, tastes great!

Marie Dixon
Marie Dixon

Hate to spread the bad news, but my Scholastic Fiesta de Libros has Dia de los Muertos skull erasers and posters. But our h.s. Spanish teacher, Sra. xxxx, liked them.

Billy Lowe
Billy Lowe

In other breaking news, some guy of German descent is infuriated by Wienerschnitzel's misrepresentation of German cuisine.

Albert Garcia
Albert Garcia

This year I'll make an altar for 'Dia de los Muertos'. It's now dead.

slop101
slop101

So I'm thinking of opening a bagel shop with a concentration camp theme...

Victor Salas
Victor Salas

No, it STARTED with sugar skulls, then little by little the paper mache crafts, and then the alters, until It was the entire celebration itself. Why do you think everything is stamped "Dia De Los Muertos" or if you prefer the "no habla español" translation "Dead Of The Dead"! Don't get me wrong, i'm more than grateful that our culture is being embraced (too bad the people aren't), but embracing a culture and marketing it to promote something that has nothing to do with the celebration other than bastardized Mexican food, are 2 totally different things.

James Anderson Merritt
James Anderson Merritt

Cosine? Sounds more like you are going off on a tangent, my friend. I wasn't mocking The ("Ask a") Mexican, I was bringing him up to date on his own mockery. I think Taco Bell threw out the Enchirito in favor of the new waffle taco. And us fans of faux-Mex are in mourning on both accounts!

Niko Babic
Niko Babic

Sorry, Gustavo- An entire culture cannot be assimilated into the mainstream without bastardizing your cultural & religious icons. Don't be sad, its progress and acceptance....like what Ed Hardy did for the tatoo culture. You've made it! ;-)

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

That logo doesn't offend my cultural sensibilities in the least.  I kinda like it, but I am a fan of DdLM art.  (If you ever get a good lead on a new, hungry artist, lemme know.) 

Mark Henry
Mark Henry

But at least it's honest. "Take an aspect of the culture, stamp United States on it."

Lamano Conpelos
Lamano Conpelos

i bet i wouldnt even taste like what a normal & original taco would do and i bet there wouldn't be even hand made torillas or any good hot sauce, you should've called it "douchebags don't know what to invent to keep salliong something instead of getting educated and have a real job" i would go if the name of the place was that, cuz i least i am going to expect the worst taco experience before i even come in so surprises would inpact my taste or my expectations. well done honkys the way to show you don't even have any good idea of what food is rather that jack in the box, carl's jr. k.f.c and the rest of the gourmet. El Futuro es de Los BOBOS.

Christy Henry
Christy Henry

Mark Henry well, at least the logo is the worst part...

Bill Gurney
Bill Gurney

Beware. Way too many really good tacos places to go in OC. Why help out a big chain.

Emma Afzal
Emma Afzal

Noooo! Stop them. It will become rubbish.

Art Pedroza
Art Pedroza

Will the employees grease their mustaches?

Adiel Hernandez
Adiel Hernandez

Hey European , haven't had that authentic chicks gizzard soup from knight castle . One of my favorites , I know prefers Cracker's barrel for my pilgrim cosine

Bert Magleo
Bert Magleo

Probably going to pass... They are probably going to use crappy ingredients... only time will tell

Adiel Hernandez
Adiel Hernandez

This is a disgrace ! This is sacred to our ancestors!

James Anderson Merritt
James Anderson Merritt

Hey Mexican! Taco Bell in my town hasn't had the Enchirito in quite a while. That used to be one of my favorites, and now I prefer Del Taco for my faux-Mex.

Francisco Gr
Francisco Gr

Los muertos les van a venir a jalar las patas a los cabrones!!!!

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

If you're talking about sugar skulls white people have been putting those all over things for years.

Ed Carrasco
Ed Carrasco

I'm praying no Rackys or son of Rackys get hurt this time around.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@20ftjesus  

I like the artwork, too. I'm an artist...but mainly a wordsmith who dabbles in collages...

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...