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Halloumi and fake meat: A look at Taco Bell’s international menu

The Mexican fast-food chain, looking to grow outside the U.S., is developing more unique items for international markets.
Taco Bell international
Photographs courtesy of Taco Bell

Good news: Taco Bell has a fake-meat taco.

Bad news: You have to go to Finland and Spain to get it.

The Mexican fast-food chain has deliberately avoided jumping on the fake-meat bandwagon, instead stressing its existing vegetarian options. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t trying fake meat elsewhere.

The Irvine, Calif.-based chain has an Oatrageous Taco in Finland and Spain, with plans to make it a permanent menu item all over Europe next year. The taco is made with a meat substitute product made from oats. The taco has a crunchy shell, lettuce, chipotle sauce and cheese.

Oatrageous Taco

Oatrageous Taco. Photograph courtesy of Taco Bell

The chain has several other interesting international items, including the Cyprus Halloumi Crunchwrap, that is live on menus in Europe for a limited time. That item features fried halloumi, spicy ranch, crunchy tostada, guacamole, pico de gallo and lettuce all wrapped in a tortilla, like the chain’s popular Crunchwrap line.

Cyprus Halloumi Crunchwrap

Cyprus Halloumi Crunchwrap. Photograph courtesy of Taco Bell.

Taco Bells in Japan have an Okonomiyaki Taco, Burrito and Crunchwrap that feature pork carnitas, shredded cabbage, cheddar cheese, red strips, an Okonomi sauce and Japanese mayo.

Okonomiyaki Burrito

Okonomiyaki Burrito. Photograph courtesy of Taco Bell.

In Australia, Taco Bells have a limited-time item called Lava Burst Hot Chips that feature fries, or “chips” in Australia, seasoned beef, “lava sauce,” nacho cheese sauce, sour cream and jalapeno.

Lava Burst Hot Chips

Lava Burst Hot Chips. Photograph courtesy of Taco Bell.

For now, all of these menus are available only outside the U.S., where the chain has been working to increase its presence.

Taco Bell operates just 500 locations outside the U.S., compared with more than 6,500 domestically. Sister chains KFC and Pizza Hut both have considerably larger presences internationally.

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