The legendary Taco Bell and the New York-based dessert company, Milk Bar, have joined forces to create the all-new Strawberry Bell Truffle. Milk Bar’s newest summer-friendly creation will be served at select locations. what-is-the-taco-bell-and-milk-bar-collaboration
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What is the Taco Bell and Milk Bar collaboration?

Milk Bar, the New York-based dessert venture by celebrity chef Christina Tosi, is the latest company to collaborate with Taco Bell on the Strawberry Bell Truffle. The sweet and salty invention will be served at limited locations in the United States for a limited period.

"A collaboration 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 seemingly to 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," said Tosi. what-is-the-strawberry-bell-truffle
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What is the Strawberry Bell Truffle?

The innovative dessert by Milk Bar is essentially bite-sized pieces of vanilla cake truffles enveloped in strawberry milk with a sweet corn fudge center. The exterior of these miniature cakes is made of strawberry and sweet corn coat shards of Taco Bell's iconic Crunchy Taco Shell to create a perfect balance between sweet and salty.

"The Strawberry Bell Truffle is the first mashup of its kind to be served to consumers on a large, test scale from our brands," said Taco Bell Executive Chef Rene Pisciotti. He further added, "This one-of-a-kind truffle is the friendship-fueled fruition of a concept made possible by a mutual dedication to innovation." how-did-milk-bar-create-the-strawberry-bell-truffle
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How did Milk Bar create the Strawberry Bell Truffle?

To create the Strawberry Bell Truffle, the ingenious chefs at the Milk Bar team soaked a slice of vanilla cake in strawberry milk and added pieces of strawberry to the mix. The cake was formed into a ball, filled with a sweet corn fudge center, and then coated with a sweet-and-salty strawberry and sweet corn cake mixture. The corn mixture was made using Taco Bell's corn shells. The dessert, as a result, is a sweet interplay of textures.

The sweet and salty Strawberry Bell Truffle was made available in just three locations across the United States between August 3 and August 16. The two truffle packages were priced at $2.99. The three locations include one Taco Bell restaurant in Orange County, CA (14042 Red Hill Ave., Tustin, CA 92780) and two Milk Bar stores in New York (1196 Broadway at 29th Street, New York, NY 10001) and Los Angeles (7150 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046). taco-bell-and-milk-bars-earlier-collaborations
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Taco Bell and Milk Bar’s earlier collaborations

Though the Strawberry Bell Truffle is officially the first invention to be born of this collaboration, Taco Bell and Milk Bar came together to create Dessert Nachos in 2018. The food item was reserved for the palates of close friends of the two brands during Taco Bell's annual Friendsgiving event at their corporate headquarters.

Dessert Nachos had Milk Bar's signature cookies cut into triangular chips, coated with dark chocolate fudge and vanilla cream "nacho cheese sauce" and sprinkled with chocolate chips, almond chunks, and other sweet and savory bits for texture. While it never made it to the Taco Bell menu, it successfully laid the foundation for the two brands to work together on something they could put on the market and take it to a larger audience.

"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 fan base," said Taco Bell's spokesperson. what-does-this-collaboration-mean-for-milk-bar
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What does this collaboration mean for Milk Bar?

The beginnings of Christina Tosi's career at Momofuku in the mid-2000s were marked by imaginative and playful takes on conventional desserts. When she opened the first Milk Bar in 2008, ingenious iterations of well-loved flavors such as cereal milk-flavored soft serve, truffles that tasted like birthday cake, and cookies stuffed with cornflakes and chips lined the bakery's shelves. Praise poured in from every corner for the two-time James Beard Award-winning chef.

But this recent association with the fast-food giant, Taco Bell, has courted some criticism, with many arguing that this collaboration puts Milk Bar's offerings in the same category as lowbrow junk food.

The truth, however, is that Milk Bar has been seeking to reach a wider audience in the United States for a few years now. In 2019, Tosi's venture secured funding to expand to grocery stores and sell its own cookie mix. The following year, they partnered with Cinnamon Toast Crunch in Manhattan to put out a cookie made with cereal. This collaboration, then, is just one more step in Tosi's ambition to ensure that her creations reach as many people as possible! what-does-this-collaboration-mean-for-taco-bell
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What does this collaboration mean for Taco Bell?

Taco Bell's official statement on the collaboration suggests several such collaborations with a focus on Unique Food are underway in their test kitchens. And these collaborations are not limited to the Milk Bar. It could well be that there are other food brands in conversation with the fast-food giant, though the latter's predilection for experimentation can make it difficult for new and upcoming food players to enter into an equal partnership.

Take Baja Blast, for instance. When the hugely popular drink was created back in 2004, it only flowed out of Taco Bell soda fountains in the United States and this was, then, touted as a one-of-a-kind collaboration. It took MTN Dew, the creator of the drink, 10 years to figure out its own distribution channels for the drink. Today, MTN Dew has more Baja flavors than ever before.

When Taco Bell was questioned about its future brand collaborations and changes in the
Restaurant Menu, the company said that Taco Bell always has something up its sleeve, so there are more exciting announcements to come.