Trying Chipotle’s New Item

Olivia Short ‘17

I’m fascinated by the food industry these days. The American’s taste is changing– people are generally more adventurous with world cuisine, spicy foods, and “unusual” flavor combinations. (I’m looking at you, food trucks.) But at the same time, there’s a strong demand for aggressively American foods like bacon, beer, and deep-fried everything.

So American restaurants are forced to play a weird game of Food Twister. Their menus need to appeal both to trendy paleos and strict baconists.

Chipotle’s new menu item, Sofritas, was created for exactly that. Created to “unite vegans and carnivores,” Sofritas is “shredded organic tofu braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices.” See the official infographic on the cooking process here. (This also explains the actual production of tofu.)

I cook with tofu fairly often, but had never heard anything like this technique. I was just so curious that I had to try it.

My dad and I went to the nearest Chipotle for dinner one night last week. Figuring the tofu wouldn’t keep well for leftovers, I arrived hungry enough to inhale an entire burrito bowl. And I did just that, piling on Sofritas, brown rice, pinto beans, corn salsa, & green salsa.

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The result was amazing. Sofritas is smoky and spicy with a crumbly texture. It’s a really unique blend that doesn’t taste like vegan food– if you told someone it was spicy ground turkey, they’d probably believe you. Even my dad (who always orders a plain steak and rice burrito) gave the Sofritas a thumbs up.

(Also: I’d highly recommend adding corn salsa to whatever Sofritas dish you order. The smoky, cumin-spiced flavors of Sofritas go SUPER well with the sweetness of Chipotle’s corn. It tastes like something you’d eat on a beach at dusk during a senior trip to Mexico. That’s the best way I can explain it.)

All things considered, I think it’s safe to say that Chipotle has met its goal of satisfying both hip vegan chefs & a meat-and-potatoes dads alike.

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