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Dec 9, 2019

Tasting: Taco Bell - Lava Burst Hot Chips (Fries)

Taco Bell's Lava Burst Hot Chips (as in "fries") is a limited-time menu item over in Australia. It features seasoned chips (they call fries "chips" in Australia and the United Kingdom) topped with Lava sauce, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, and jalapeno slices.

The price comes out to $9.95 AUD  or about $6.77 US. I was able to try this recently at Taco Bell headquarters.

For the most part, this dish is very similar to the Steak Rattlesnake Fries that Taco Bell introduced for a limited time early this year. Notable differences include lava sauce and the addition of sour cream.

For those missing Lava sauce from when they last brought it back in 2015, this version is more of an updated take inspired by the original sauce. It's actually a good deal different although it shares the same orange color. Where the original sauce was cheesy and tangy, this new sauce is neither cheesy nor tangy. Instead, it's a bit buttery and savory, with more of a seasoning to it and a touch of sweetness. There was a strong, delayed kick of spicy heat, which I was told came from cayenne peppers; it wasn't uncomfortable, though.

I enjoyed the sauce quite a bit, as it contributed a rich flavor to the nacho fries (Taco Bell calls their fries, "Seasoned Hot Chips" in Australia) in addition to the heat. I didn't miss the cheese and tang of the original sauce because the dish included nacho cheese and pickled jalapenos to provide those qualities.

I could see them bringing this version of Lava sauce back home to the US, as it's really good enough to build a menu around and would be a nice add-on to most menu items. I think they'd have to give it a different name, though, so people don't expect the original Lava sauce.