Food & Drink

Is America Unworthy of Taco Bell's Korean Quesadilla?

Published On 10/17/2016 Published On 10/17/2016
Korean Quesadilla
Taco Bell

As someone who has quite literally tried every item available on Taco Bell's expansive food menu, I can say firsthand that -- while incredibly delicious, don't get me wrong -- most of the items would benefit from an accompanying digestive aid. 

(You get it.)

Taco Bell South Korea found a natural solution to this problem -- while sensibly appealing to local flavor palates -- with the kimchee quesadilla, which is basically our version (spicy sauce, chicken, cheese) with some of the Korean fermented specialty tucked inside. The dish, launched in June, has proven to be incredibly popular in the local market, as persistent social media flare-ups can attest. This is what the internet is all about: bringing people together over new and exotic fast-food options around the world.

koreatacobell/instagram

But as much as I (or presumably you, because you clicked on this article) would love to see a kimchee queso hit TB's stateside roster... it's just not going to happen. And the sooner you recognize that, the sooner the hurt will be over. 

Taco Bell -- like other fast-food leviathans before it -- has adjusted international menus to sync with local tastes, with some interesting results (chicken tikka masala burritos in India?!). But despite overseas successes (and the popularity of Korean tacos in the US), don't expect any of the weirder items to make the jump to America. 

"Our kimchi quesadilla is very popular in South Korea and fitting for what our customers and the culture of that market are looking for," a Taco Bell spokesperson said to Business Insider. "It is not as reflective of what our consumers here in the States are looking for when they come to Taco Bell."

Whomp whomp. Taco Bell rightly assumes bland USA preferences would sink a novel but delicious menu item like the kimchee quesadilla before it has a chance to soar.  

What can you do to help? Write your local Taco Bell, your state senators, and start buying kimchee by the barrel (save your receipts!). Only together can we prove America is ready for fermented cabbage in our fast-food Mexican.

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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. He's never once peed on a busboy, but once he threw up on a horse. Follow him @wilfulton.

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