• Taco Bell is at it again: This time, the makers of the fried-chicken-shell taco and quesadilla-wrapped burritos is testing a new breakfast item, in the form of a breakfast item where a fried egg functions as the taco shell. Foodbeast reports the egg-shell taco will test in the Flint, Michigan area later this spring, with test-kitchen plans involving another menu item that’s being called a croissant-burrito hybrid. Regarding the egg taco, Business Insider got an early taste:
Taco Bell’s earlier innovations in breakfast taco vehicles included waffles and biscuits, so perhaps ditching the starch altogether in this paleo-friendly offering is the natural next step?
• Fast-casual favorite Panera Bread has a new owner. JAB Holding Company, best known for owning Krispy Kreme, Keurig Green Mountain, Peet’s Coffee, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown, purchased the soup-and-sandwich chain for a whopping $7.5 billion. According to at least one expert, the purchase signals that the Europe-based JAB, with its staggering coffee portfolio, is targeting Starbucks’ share of the restaurant/retail market.
• LA’s favorite Pulitzer-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold has picked up his share of accolades, and will now be doling out an eponymous award of his own: Gold’s current employer, the LA Times, has announced the creation of the Gold Award, “honoring culinary excellence and expanding the notion of what Southern California cooking might be.” The first recipient is Wolfgang Puck; as Gold writes, “Wolfgang Puck is the man who showed the world what a great American chef might be.”
• Culture war alert: Cadbury, the iconic UK maker of delightful chocolate, is drawing online criticism for supposedly dropping the word “Easter” from its annual egg hunt. The company denies that its downplaying of the Christian holiday was an intentional choice, but according to the New York Times, everything/everyone from Brexit, capitalists, and of course, Americans are being blamed for controversy.
• The next Pizza Rat is this taco-eating squirrel. Good work, internet.