New queso arrives Thursday at restaurants

New queso arrives Thursday at restaurants


Hold onto your taste buds: Chipotle Mexican Grill is changing up its melted cheese concoction.

Starting Thursday, Chipotle’s new Queso Blanco will be available at restaurants nationwide, replacing the current queso that debuted in 2017.

“The new recipe uses 13 real ingredients, including aged Monterey Jack, white cheddar, and serrano, poblano and chipotle peppers, to create a smooth queso with just the right amount of spicy kick,” Chipotle said in a news release Wednesday.

The new queso recipe was tested at 52 locations in Dallas, Detroit and San Diego, and the feedback from the test exceeded expectations, Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

“It quickly became clear that we needed to give all of our guests access to this delicious queso,” Brandt said.

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Chipotle's new Queso Blanco debuts in restaurants nationwide Feb. 27.

Queso-gate: Chipotle’s cheesy history

The new queso doesn’t have artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, which Chipotle says is the norm for its food.

Chipotle also used its “stage-gate process” to test the queso before deciding to launch it nationally. 

The company’s first iteration of the cheese dip, which was long requested by customers and offered by competitors, rolled out in September 2017. It sparked an uproar that was dubbed “queso-gate” with some calling it the worst queso they’d ever had.

In December 2017, the recipe was revamped.

Last October, Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol mentioned the queso test during a quarterly earnings call with analysts. He also discussed quesadillas and salads, other items being tested.

“It’s got to be something that the consumer is going to say they love it and they want to try it again,” Niccol said during the call.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko


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