Recently my son and I were driving along the commercial strip on King Street in Northampton when he asked (as teenagers do) if we could pick up some food. One of us suggested tacos, so we pulled into the unnatural hybrid Taco Bell/Kentucky Fried Chicken store for a snack.
On our way I joked that I was curious about what new way Taco Bell would devise to rearrange the same six or seven ingredients that make up all their menu items. I came up with the hilarious idea of a taco with the meat on the outside. (Well, I laughed.)
Then we went inside, and I ordered a "Naked Chicken Chalupa," mostly because it was prominently displayed on the menu board. I figured "naked chicken" meant some bogus skinless "healthy" chicken food product.
But when I unwrapped my taco, it was not what I expected. The taco shell was very thick and lumpy — was Taco Bell going in for artisanal handmade tortillas? I tried a bite.
It was . . . chicken. What I took for a taco shell was a sort of disk of chicken sliced (or pounded) thin, breaded, and fried in a U shape. The usual cheese, lettuce, sauce, etc. were inside this chicken "tortilla."
In other words, a taco with the meat on the outside.
Fast food has now passed the point of parody.
As food, the Naked Chicken Chalupa was adequate, not great. Kind of greasy, as you'd expect from a taco wrapped in fried chicken. I don't think I'm going to order it again. I do have some self-respect.
UPDATE: The magisterial "Report of the Week" YouTube channel has now reviewed the Naked Chicken Chalupa. See it here.