Chipotle is known for many things: sustainable foodstuffs, friendly employees, heart-wrenching animation skills. What it's not known for, however, is flighty or frequent changes to its supersimple menu. It hasn't introduced a new protein in, oh, 21 years. Until now.
Answering the call of a growing interest in plant-based eating, Chipotle is rolling out sofritas -- organic, shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblano peppers, and various spices -- as a new menu option. I got a taste ahead of Monday's official rollout, and the stuff is pretty damned delicious.
Yeah, yeah, I'm a vegan, so you might be thinking I'm a fan of tofu foodstuffs in any form. Wrong. Tofu can be God-awful. But tofu made the Chipotle way tastes rather like meat. Reminiscent of chorizo or spicy ground beef, the sofritas have a chewy, meaty texture. They're solid and filling.
The tofu for the sofritas is made by one of Chipotle's besties, Hodo Soy. The San Fran-area company is known for organic, non-GMO tofu made via artisanal production methods -- worth noting given that soy is the number-one genetically modified crop in the U.S.
Honestly, put the sofritas in a blind taste test with carnivores, and I bet they wouldn't know the difference. They've got a medium-high kick as far as spiciness and pair nicely with guac, brown rice, black beans, and Chipotle's green salsa -- or whatever your flavor creation of choice.
In other markets where the sofritas are already a staple, meat eaters are digging the new addition, the Chipotle reps told me. Some opt out of meat altogether, and some who usually do double chicken or beef are subbing out half for sofritas instead.
Baby steps to a better future, y'all.
The sofritas are rolling out to all Florida stores as of today, Monday, October 13. So you can pair 'em with your favorite bowl, taco, or monster burrito combo and be superproud that you saved a cow or pig in the process.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.