Saturday, June 10, 2017

Review: Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chips

When you're a moderately healthy person who eats fast food rarely - and occasionally for the whimsy - you feel empowered when you make that order. You know about the poor nutrition and rich additives, and convince yourself that this knowledge is somehow a shield protecting you from its malign effects.

You also feel superior.

"Oh lowly Taco Bell - I'm eating you just for the Lolz. But I'll still invite you to my penthouse soiree."

So, like any arrogant and biased food reviewer, I was writing this review before I even took a bite. I imagined my lead would be: "Scientists rejoice as 4,327 new chemical compounds discovered in Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chips."

But I was wrong.

I took out a hefty triangle from its paper pouch, still hot, and dipped it in the Cheeto-colored Mayo, or perhaps queso.

I took a bite. I expected a rush of MSG, and the desire to drink an ocean of Diet Coke.
But something was happening in my mouth that I wasn't prepared for. The various seasonings and ingredients somehow perfectly repelled each other, as if they were finely-tuned by some virtuoso cook / chemist.

The flavors in the "chip" nullified each other so completely that what I tasted was... nothing. Not the absence of flavor, but a perfectly manufactured emptiness. I was in a crowded mall, and yet I was separated from all living beings. I was totally alone with my cheese sauce. I chewed and felt warmth, but my mind was already distancing itself from my mortal form.

I saw humanity as a net across the globe, each man and woman connected to each other by strands of kindness. I saw the earth as a small ball in the infinite blackness of the universe, rolling through the dark in tireless orbits. I saw time as a pair of hands that pushes each of us forward, without malice or pleasure. I felt removed from all things, and only from that great distance could I, at last, feel true harmony.

My companion said they tasted like Chicken McNuggets.