Chipotle is upping its queso game! The fast-food chain announced on Thursday, August 8, that it is currently testing queso blanco in a handful of markets across the country.
More specifically, the California-based company is currently experimenting with the tasty cheese dip in 52 restaurants across Dallas, Detroit and San Diego for a limited time. According to a press release, the new queso blanco uses only real ingredients, including aged Monterey Jack cheese and white cheddar, as well as serrano, poblano and chipotle peppers. It’s also free of preservatives and artificial components.
The experimental menu item is described as having “a perfectly smooth texture and bold cheese flavor with a mild spicy heat and a smoky finish,” making it an ideal companion for Chipotle’s freshly fried chips or on top of any burrito bowl. This limited release comes about two years after Chipotle debuted queso, which some critics labeled “grainy.”
“Making delicious queso with real ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives is a tough project to take on,” explained chef Nevielle Panthaky, vice president of culinary and menu development at Chipotle. “We listened to our guests and worked tirelessly in our kitchens to make an even better tasting queso. We are proud to have created a delicious recipe for queso blanco that uses only high quality, real ingredients that you can pronounce and find in your own kitchens at home.”
This latest addition is being tested via Chipotle’s new “stage-gate process,” which allows the company to test, learn, listen to customer feedback and iterate extensively before deciding whether or not to launch a specific dish at the national level.
Queso lovers will be happy to know that thus far, the feedback for queso blanco has been overwhelmingly positive. “Chipotle’s new queso is fire,” opined one happy customer. Added another: “Attention. Public Service Announcement. @ChipotleTweets has Queso Blanco and the game has changed.”
In addition to glowing reviews, Chipotle has noticed an increase in queso blanco sales across all test markets after the first week, indicating that consumers are eager to give this potential new menu item a try and maybe even come back for more.
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