We Tried Taco Bell's New Cheez-It Menu Items And One Was A Soggy Letdown

Out of all the rotating limited-time selections announced for Taco Bell's 2024 menu, there was one particular set of dishes that I was most excited about: the Cheez-It mashup featuring a Big Cheez-It Tostada and a Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme. 

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Both of them feature a particularly entertaining ingredient: a giant Cheez-It cracker the size of 16 standard Cheez-Its. The prospect of eating a single cracker that big actually made me laugh when I first learned about it, which is generally not a response I have to the idea of a fast food dish.

I mean, it sounds like something out of an actual cartoon, but the thing is, it's also something that I'd theoretically be happy eating. Cheez-Its are one of those things I can easily crush half a box of in one sitting, since they're savory, salty, flaky, and crisp, which are all characteristics I crave in a snack. Also, Taco Bell's new items are following in the footsteps of Pizza Hut's Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza, which we mostly enjoyed.

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The time is finally here, and the two items are available to Taco Bell Rewards Members starting today, May 30, exclusively via the Taco Bell app and online ordering. On June 6, the items will drop nationwide for a limited time. I tasted both of these oversized cracker creations, and while one was amazing, the other was a cheesy disappointment.

The Big Cheez-It Tostada is light, savory, and absolutely crushable

The Big Cheez-It Tostada comes in at $3.99 at my local Taco Bell and is topped with seasoned beef, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream. Between this and the Crunchwrap version, the tostada is decidedly the more humble item. I'd say it's an exercise in restraint, but the presence of the giant Cheez-It is a reminder that it really isn't. 

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Here's the thing — the simplicity of the Big Cheez-It Tostada is exactly why this thing is near-perfect. The Cheez-It isn't drowned out with a bunch of extraneous flavors, and its savory cheddar taste stays front and center with every bite. The ground beef reminds you that you're at Taco Bell, the veggies keep it light and fresh (for fast food, anyway), and the sour cream adds a layer of moisture and fat. 

The whole tostada is salty but not overly so, and as someone who almost always reaches for a packet of sauce to brighten up every bite of Taco Bell, I found myself ignoring the Diablo sauce altogether, which is unusual for me. Frankly, I love the Big Cheez-It Tostada, and I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being my favorite Taco Bell release of the year. 

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Unfortunately, the giant Cheez-It does have a few issues

Considering it's fast food, there were always going to be a few rough parts about the Big Cheez-It Tostada's execution. Though it appeared intact when I got it, my giant Cheez-It was actually already broken into four or five pieces. I never got to pick up the entire thing in one go just to admire it, which would have taken the whole experience over the top. 

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But even before I picked up a piece of it, I suspected that structural integrity was always going to be an issue. I have a feeling many people will encounter this scenario, but it's by no means a dealbreaker since the thing tastes great.

The other issue is that even though the tostada is just under the size of my hand, it doesn't have a ton of substance to it. The cracker is airy and light, and the toppings aren't done with a heavy hand, so the Big Cheez-It Tostada comes off as more of a snack than it does a main item. You'll have to order at least another one plus maybe a soft taco on the side to make it a full meal, and with a drink, that'll easily pole vault you into double-digit territory in terms of dollars spent, considering each tostada costs $3.99. 

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The Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme doesn't bring the crunch

The Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme costs $6.99 at my local Taco Bell (Taco Bell says the price is suggested at $5.49 but varies by location; I live in the city of Chicago). It's built exactly like a standard Crunchwrap Supreme in that it's a grilled pressed flour tortilla filled with seasoned beef, nacho cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream, but instead of the usual round tostada shell inside keeping things crunchy, it features that giant Cheez-It instead.

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Between the two items I was convinced the Crunchwrap was going to be the winner, but somewhat shockingly, that wasn't the case at all. That's because the poor Cheez-It inside never stood a chance when pressed together with all those other ingredients, which contain a significant amount of moisture. The crunch all but disappeared from the soggy cracker, but fortunately, the cheddar flavor was still easily distinguishable in every bite.

Additionally, the salt levels from the additional ingredients like the nacho cheese built up significantly as I ate, and by the time I got to the second half, my tongue was burnt out. Overall, the Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme is okay at best, but at $6.99 isn't worth the price of admission. If your local Taco Bell charges less ($5.99 or less, say), it's worth getting at least once just to say you did it.

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The Big Cheez-It Tostada might be our vote for Taco Bell's hit of the year

Even though Taco Bell's Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme is a letdown, the Big Cheez-It Tostada delivers where it can't. It showcases one of my favorite snack items, the humble Cheez-It, and keeps it front and center by preserving its texture and complementing its flavor with a few harmonious ingredients. Bells and whistles are nice and all, but why mess too much with a perfectly good thing?

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Plus the other part is that it's hard not to laugh when seeing a big Cheez-It in person. It tickles your childish sensibilities and reminds you not to take Taco Bell too seriously (though I know it's all just a setup to take my money), and how many fast food items can you say actually make you laugh? Sure, $3.99 isn't bargain-bin pricing for something so lightweight, but for a novel grocery store/fast food mashup that also comes with a side of glee, you can bet I'll be back for at least one. Okay, maybe two. Actually, don't judge me if that number keeps going up.

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