Taco Bell Diablo Sauce


Those of us who survive in the concrete jungle or the suburban desert live as we must, which often means foraging within the realms of junk food. This in turn means, because too much of junkfood is merely a conduit to “the beetus” or other early death, to have strong preferences for some junk food over other types. Many of us remain enthusiastic fans of Taco Bell because, despite the high salt content and imminent violent defecation, it remains relatively simple, unsullied and realistically-priced compared to the over-sugared varieties of junk food found at the burger joints. It also eschews the pomposity of “down home goodness” and “hippie health food wisdom” which mark, even in small doses, places like Chipotle and In-N-Out.

As part of its ill-advised campaign to be “more competitive,” which is scurrilous nonsense since it has already captured its self-selected target audience of drunks, college students, scat fetishists and budget-conscious consumers, Taco Bell has made tentative stepts toward expanding its menu to include more varied tastes. As a long time observer, I believe this contradicts business wisdom which would be to instead serve its existing constituency such that it expands, instead of trying to capture audiences from other businesses who are more adapted to what those groups expect. However, it has in addition to some hilarious missteps — the soggy Doritos-in-a-burrito was more than gastronomically dismal — this has brought a number of useful experiments, including the new Diablo sauce. From the beginning, this product faces a steady climb because those who really like hot sauce enough for it to be essential with a fast food meal probably have their preferred poison on hand, but it also may gain an audience of those heading past the sauce counter for some slightly new experiences. Much like the market for spicy sauces sold separately, it navigates a fine line between over-processed and sweetened sauces, and perennial favorites like Tabasco which balance spice with flavor such that one tastes more than spice or the sugar, aromatic spices and fruit extracts added to soften the blow or at least give it an ironic, contrarian or contradictory identity (“it’s a hot sauce, but unlike the others, it has fruits and flowers”).

The first taste of Diablo Sauce, as warned by our local Taco Bell proprietor, is of intense spice. A glance at the ingredients shows that it picks up from where Fire Sauce left off but uses a more intense pepper base, feeling like simultaneously more black pepper and a habanero or more concentrated jalapeno-serrano mix. The result, while warming and very useful to pick up the intensity, falls short on the spice-flavor balance: unlike Tabasco, it is more hot than flavorful and, while it avoids the odious boutique spice flavors that insist mixing mango and cloves with Scottish bonnet peppers somehow makes a “new” taste, it also fails to bring with it the optimized mix of flavors that fire sauce does. Perhaps this means that Taco Bell caved to the extremists — who might be conveniently visualized as drunk bearded men with bandoliers full of specially-bred spicy peppers — and forsook its commonplace wisdom as to what its audience desires, which can be summarized as “spicy Southwestern” since Taco Bell borrows more from Tex-Mex than Mex and more from California Tex-Mex than Tex-Tex-Mex.

The question always presented itself as to whether Taco Bell would make a more spicy Fire Sauce, or a spicy sauce, and the sense I get is that they aimed for the latter while guarding their flank with some inclusion of the former, which runs a risk of pleasing neither group. I suggest they defer to interface: mild, medium and fire are variants on the same flavor, and Diablo should be too on that basis, with the possibility of simply adding a “habanero sauce” (or equivalent, since a concentrated jalapeno-serrano or jalapeno-japones mix will achieve the same result) as an addition to the Diablo sauce. Perhaps this was the intent, since of the eight of us eating the three who appreciate spicy food the most ended up using a 2:1 mix of Fire:Diablo sauces to great effect. In any case, it was a joy to experiment with this new flavor and, while it may not be the end-all for spice fetishists, for those who have the time to mix it in with other sauces it makes for a powerful addition to the Taco Bell palette.

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21 thoughts on “Taco Bell Diablo Sauce”

  1. Ara says:

    Haha delivering this deadpan in an Iron Chef style of critique is killing me.

  2. thewaters says:

    WHOA! VIJAY PROZAK RIDES AGAIN? Where have you been all these years….??……;) hahahha

    1. He came down from his mountain. A corpse of an eagle on one hand, a serpent on the other.
      He was naked and his beard grew down to his knees.

      I think the first thing he wants to do after trying Taco Bell is write a bunch of SMRs.

      1. Robert says:

        YES!! Can’t wait foe da SMRs frum da Prozak, ya dig!!! Chea!!

      2. LostInTheANUS says:

        What about sodomy?

  3. Johannes Climaxus says:

    PROZAK! \m/

    1. He’s back to writing mega editorials from hell

      1. Lord Mosher says:

        Fuck yes !! Spinoza Ray Prozak is back !!!
        Good riddance that Brett Stevens wimp !
        Long live the Altar !!!

  4. Disremember says:

    If you like spicy n pungent …
    Try to get sambal possibly
    From any Sri Lankan, Thai , Indonesia, Vietnamese or Malaysian restaurant if you can find em
    If you want death like smell from farting…
    Try finding belacan,Petai ( stinky beans ), durian or Budu …
    Guaranteed to send your nostrils to hell n back !

    1. Owej says:

      Hell yeah! I tried rasaam south indian soup and it felt like my pipes got cleaned out by a vulcano

      1. Disremember says:

        Mmmm… I don’t know how to put this but Raasam is like the equivalent of speed metal… I used to take it when I was a wee lad like 5 years old
        It’s time to go for more extreme stuff man…
        Try getting
        Tom Yam Kung
        Bak kut teh… Any Malaysian Chinese restaurant you can find

  5. Already better than Bert Stevens

    1. 1349 says:

      Wasn’t it “Bert Semens”?

  6. Bong Goat says:

    When comes the instruction to making a bong out of an iPad?

    1. tone float says:

      “witness protection program or food for sodomites, Brett it’s your time to decide…tell us what you know about this Gadahn kid and we’ll give you immunity”

      Oh you didn’t know? Prozak basically despises drug users these days, moreso than mac users one would imagine. All this despite probably being a fairly heavy one prior to ’97. But coupled with his prolific publication of hate-rants and being one of the most widely known anti-semites on the net at that time. Well, let’s just say a little visit from the DEA and FBI can sober a guy up pretty quick.

  7. javier del pito pequeño says:

    Este abominacion no esta de cultura latina… Es puta… Yo se porque soy un latino autentico… No soy un gringo… Es verdad… Viva la raza…

  8. The Grand Phallus says:

    All hail Prozak!

    Fuck Bert, that Boyd Rice impersonator.

    1. jayjax says:

      shit yih, of cours my boyz ride
      what fuk you tryina say you lil sissy ??

      and as for this prozac shit, well damn… I know I ment ta takem daily but fukit I ain’t about to let no pekkerwood white medisinman telll me if I’m happy or sad, poisonin a brothas body with that shit onyl death4real stylez yo Fuk u holms

  9. Anthony says:

    The problem with Taco Bell is that they know their target market a little too well. Stoners love that shit, so they stay open late and make tacos out of Doritos. Their chicken quesadilla is serviceable, but anything with ground “beef” in it tastes rather nasty. They do give you a lot of food for comparatively little cash, hence the stoners buying stuff from them in droves.

  10. Spazztic Brett says:

    I’ll never go to Taco Bell because Burger King rules and their tacos smell

  11. Borknigger says:

    I’d rather eat food.

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