Taco Bell had to overcome some pretty formidable marketing barriers to make its way into the breakfast game. But it seems that now, about five years after introducing its breakfast items, the fast food chain has finally achieved some confirmation from the general public that its offerings don’t represent a form of early-meal apostasy. Taco Bell’s AM Crunchwrap will never unseat the Egg McMuffin, but it’s a solid choice. Now, Taco Bell is trying to change our perception of salsa with a new line of breakfast salsa doled out in the same little colorful packets that also hold Taco Bell’s assorted hot sauces.
I can attest, after having tried this breakfast salsa, which rolled out recently, that it tastes no different from lunch salsa, brunch salsa, and even dinner salsa, for that matter. But it is a welcome addition to Taco Bell’s line of celebrated hot sauces—which run the gamut from “mild” to “hot” to “fire” to “diablo” (which isn’t as hot as its name leads on).
“A bit less spicy, but equally as tasty, Taco Bell’s new breakfast salsa packs just enough heat to complement the breakfast flavors you love, without being overwhelmingly hot,” Taco Bell said in a press release announcing the debut of its breakfast salsa. “After all, the only thing better than an AM Crunchwrap to start your day is an AM Crunchwrap with breakfast salsa.”
Going on the notion that salsa can be eaten any time of day, I recently sampled the salsa—along with the other sauces, for comparison’s sake—on a couple of regular soft tacos. While it isn’t my favorite of the sauces on offer—Taco Bell’s “hot” sauce does it for me—it was a pleasantly mild addition, even milder than Taco Bell’s “mild” sauce, which is a peppery foil to the salsa’s sweet-spicy taste.
Tangy, with only the slightest kick, the breakfast salsa was also more texturally satisfying than the other sauces on offer, with a few small chunks of onions and peppers in there that gave it a bit of a crunch. It isn’t clear if Taco Bell plans to keep this salsa in permanent rotation. If the company does, I’d recommend changing the name to just “salsa,” which sounds like an obvious thing to say, because any fool knows that salsa can be eaten any time of day, and there is nothing distinct about Taco Bell’s salsa that recalls breakfast. I had to ask for a few packets, which were hidden behind the counter, when I went for lunch, and the server happily obliged. So if you get there past 11 a.m., when breakfast ends, don’t despair. Even the servers understand that it isn’t such a crazy idea to desire “breakfast salsa” after breakfast time.