Taco Bell and Milk Bar, the inventive dessert concept founded by celeb chef Christina Tosi, have teamed up to launch the Strawberry Bell Truffle. The mashup is available for a limited run in just two Milk Bar locations and one Taco Bell unit.
To create the item, the Milk Bar team started with a slice of vanilla cake soaked in strawberry milk and studded with strawberry pieces. The cake is formed into a ball and filled with a sweet corn fudge center, then coated with a sweet-and-salty strawberry and sweet corn cake mixture. Tiny bits of Taco Bell’s taco shell add a pop of crunchy texture contrast to the truffle’s coating.
“A collab with our brilliant friends at Taco Bell has been on my bucket list for some time,” Tosi said in a statement. “We white boarded ideas and R&D’ed to seemingly no end, but then the masterminds of our culinary team, led by VP, Anna McGorman, struck sweet gold with this unique dessert that packs such delicious flavor and is a true meeting of minds who love to color outside the lines.”
It's not the first time Tosi has collaborated with a restaurant brand to create a dessert signature. Last year, Milk Bar partnered with Shake Shack on two limited-time shakes: the Chocolate Birthday Cake Shake and the Cornflake Chocolate Drizzle Shake.
In 2017, &pizza began serving Tosi’s iconic cereal milk in a house-made cream soda and a cereal milk cream soda cookie. Then when the first &pizza opened in the Boston area in 2019, Milk Bar created a Boston cream pie version of its soft serve—cereal milk blended with molten cheesecake, chocolate chips and fudge sauce.
Taco Bell is famous for building buzz and demand by launching new products for a =limited time in just one or two locations—"until supplies last.” At the end of June, the Irvine, Calif.-based fast-food chain debuted the Big Cheez-It Tostada, in test for two weeks at one Taco Bell store close to company headquarters. The item was developed in partnership with Cheez-It snack crackers.
“Taco Bell is known for national and test items of all sweet and savory profiles," said a Taco Bell spokesperson in an email. "We consistently test new innovations and listen to what resonates with our fans. We’re thrilled by the response to the Strawberry Bell Truffle so far."
Although the Strawberry Bell Truffle is the first “official” product launch between Milk Bar and Taco Bell, the two tried out Dessert Nachos in November 2018, introducing the item to close friends of the brand at Taco Bell’s annual Friendsgiving event at corporate headquarters.
That mashup featured Milk Bar’s signature cookies cut into triangular chips and coated with dark chocolate fudge and vanilla cream “nacho cheese sauce,” then topped with sprinkles, chocolate chips, brittle almond chunks and sweet and salty crunchies.
“Since Taco Bell and Milk Bar’s first ‘Dessert Nachos’ dish that was created for an annual Friendsgiving event back in 2018, the collective teams have been round-tabling ways to create a mashup for its wider fanbase," said the spokesperson. "The idea of merging the strawberry taste and corn texture profiles became a real winner, fusing Taco Bell’s Crunchy Taco shell and Milk Bar’s decadent truffles to create Strawberry Bell Truffles.”
“The Strawberry Bell Truffle is the first mashup of its kind to be served to consumers on a large, test scale from our brands,” Rene Pisciotti, executive chef at Taco Bell Corp., said in a statement. Tosi and her team worked closely within Taco Bell’s test kitchen on this collaboration, she added.
Customers can score a Strawberry Bell Truffle at just one Taco Bell restaurant in Tustin, Calif., close to the chain’s Irvine headquarters, and two Milk Bar locations—one in Manhattan’s Nomad neighborhood in New York City and another in Los Angeles.
A two-truffle package is only available through Aug. 16, selling for $2.99.
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