Customers complained the old queso had a grainy texture — so Chipotle went back to the test kitchen

By Morgan Raum
February 26, 2020 08:05 AM
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Sweet dreams are made of cheese. And yes we are talking about Chipotle‘s newest menu item: Queso Blanco.

The Mexican food chain announced on Wednesday that the new dip will be available nationwide starting Thursday, replacing the queso that’s currently on the menu. It uses 13 ingredients, including aged Monterey Jack, white cheddar, serrano, poblano, and chipotle peppers, and contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

The new queso recipe was tested in 52 locations across three markets, Dallas, Detroit, and San Diego, in 2019 before the company decided to bring it nationwide.

“Feedback on Queso Blanco in the test markets exceeded our expectations and it quickly became clear that we needed to give all of our guests access to this delicious queso,” said Chipotle’s Chief Marketing Officer Chris Brandt. “Our culinary team perfected a recipe of real, responsibly sourced ingredients, helping to advance our mission of Cultivating a Better World.”

Queso Blanco is made with dairy that’s supplied by small and mid-sized family farms in Wisconsin. According to a press release, this sourcing practice adheres to the brand’s efforts to support local farmers who prioritize the welfare of animals and the environment.

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Chipotle first launched their queso in July 2017 after it was customers’ most requested menu addition for two decades. The original version was made with hot and medium salsa, picked jalapeno, cheese, corn and tapioca starches, and sofrito — a blend of herbs and spices.

But from the get-go, their all-natural take on the cheese dip scored mixed reviews, primarily due to its grainy texture. The chain decided to take queso nationwide regardless — at the expense of chorizo — but have since tweaked the recipe numerous times, resulting in this latest iteration.