Dear Jack in the Box,
Your tacos are cheap and delicious. Never change them.
Now, I hear the precious foodies sputter and stammer, as they shudder in disgust at the description of the aforementioned tacos. “They are loathsome!” they bemoan. “How dare they call these monstrosities food?” they rage. I have no problem admitting that the Jack in the Box tacos leave something to be desired from a purely aesthetic perspective. They are rather ugly. I would even go one-step further and posit that broken down into each ingredient, these tacos should not work. Allow me to elaborate.
Examine the shell. It is a corn-like substance that is one part hard as a rock–risking dental injury if you bite down too aggressively–and one part oily mess. Typically, I avoid foods that are dripping in grease and this taco is a major offender in this regard. Somehow, on the Jack in the Box taco, the grease is inviting and seductive. It is a siren call that unexpected pleasure is waiting just inside the soft and soggy center. I have repeatedly succumbed to the call and am not remotely ashamed.
Next, consider the “meat.” We are all adults here, so I will be as frank as possible: I am dubious of Jack in the Box’s claim that there is any meat in this substance. At my most generous, I can only call it a brownish paste. I say brownish because I rarely even see the “meat” when I am shoveling one of them in my mouth. The deep fried, hard and soggy shell does a fantastic job of hiding the meat from plain site. From a biological standpoint, I believe that Jack in the Box uses this meat paste in an effort to assist in the digestive process. The meat paste needs no additional digestion to work its way through the body.
Finally, we have the toppings: American cheese, lettuce, and sauce. American cheese is the Ringo Starr of cheese. Yes, we all know who he is. We hear him play on most Beatles’ songs. Yet, nobody loves Ringo. He’s just there. It is pretty clear the shredded lettuce comes from scraps they use for other food items, tossed on the tacos to make them appear a little more legitimate. And the sauce is just their pre-packaged taco sauce–mostly bland and innocuous.
Based on this description, you would think the Jack in the Box taco is unpalatable. You would be utterly mistaken. The disparate ingredients, all more unbecoming and repulsive than the last, form a scrumptious and supremely satisfying delight.
Jack in the Box; do not bend to modern whims. Do not attempt to “jazz” up your taco recipe. Do not make it healthier by using fresh ingredients. Flee from any requests to take it off the menu because it is probably killing people. A death by the Jack in the Box taco would be a worthy death.
Long live the Jack in the Box taco!