The next time you head to Taco Bell, you may be able to swap out the ground beef, chicken, or steak in your taco for a new meat option. The occasionally-offered Kalua Pork is officially back on Taco Bell menus, though making it your new meat option won't be very easy, as it is only being offered in one market.
According to Cooking Classy, Kalua Pork is a smoked shredded meat that is "the main dish and most common food served at traditional Hawaiian luaus and feasts. It is a centuries-old tradition that uses a rather laborsome process of cooking a whole pig underground (this recipe uses just a cut of pork and a simplified cooking method to make it more realistically doable for everyone)." The meat option, which Taco Bell sources from a local provider in Hawaii, has had an off-and-on appearance at the chain's Hawaii locations since 2008, The Street reported. According to recent Reddit posts, it has officially returned in 2022, though it is still only available at Taco Bell locations in Hawaii.
Kalua Pork's return was confirmed on Monday when a Reddit user shared a picture of their local Taco Bell menu, which proudly announced the return of the meat option. The pork has been spotted at the Hilo Taco Bell, as well as other Taco Bell locations throughout the islands. One person shared that their "boss just got back from Hawaii and she said this was the best thing she's ever had at taco bell." Those living in the continental U.S. are already expressing some envy, with one person sharing, "I would freakin love to see this nationwide," as another joked, "I am going to Hawaii in 3 weeks. I am finding a Taco Bell while there."
This is far from the first time Taco Bell has offered a meat option outside of the standard ground beef, chicken, and steak. In previous years, the chain has offered carnitas, which is another variation of shredded pork, at its Taco Bell Cantina locations. In 2021, Taco Bell took the leap into meat-free alternatives when it began testing the Cravetarian Taco at a single Taco Bell location in Tustin, California. The taco swapped out the classic beef in favor of a filling made of chickpeas and peas alongside. It also included sour cream, cheese, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes inside of the crunchy shell.