These YouTubers created a $255 Taco Bell 'Crunchwrap Supreme' — here's what it tastes like

Rhett McLaughlin, Link Neal and Josh Scherer
Good Mythical Morning
Rhett McLaughlin, Link Neal and Josh Scherer

Taco Bell is a $10 billion-a-year business, and Crunchwrap Supreme is one of the Mexican chain's most iconic items.

Taco Bell introduced the deep-fried burrito-quesadilla hybrid in 2005 and it was so successful, it became a permanent menu item in 2006.

But can it be improved upon?

That's what Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, the hosts of popular YouTube morning show "Good Mythical Morning" set out to discover during a recent episode. With the help of their "mythical chef" Josh Scherer, the group built an updated version of the Crunchwrap using high-end ingredients like oxtail from grass-fed cattle and huitlacoche, the truffle of corn.

In total, the finished product cost $254.79 to create — 85 times the cost of the fast food's typical $2.99 price tag.

"Eating the $255 Crunchwrap supreme was like finding out the love of your life recently inherited a fortune," McLaughlin tells CNBC Make It.

"It had the same perfect flavor balance of Taco Bell's Crunchwrap Supreme, just a lot richer. It was like our tastebuds won the 'lotería.'"

Here's a look at what's in the creation.

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The meal derives its name from its dual tortilla shell: A soft flour tortilla wraps around the item, while an interior crispy one adds the crunch in "Crunchwrap." For this piece of the dish, Scherer baked a soft ancient-grain tortilla himself and used a crispy organic one made from heirloom corn.

Instead of generic ground chuck, the meat is grass-fed beef cheek and oxtail from the same cow, sourced by Standings Butchery in Los Angeles and braised in Oud Beersel beer.

Nacho cheese sauce is replaced by a mix of creamy Velveeta, Hafod cheddar (an organic Welsh version) and bone marrow procured from the forearm of the same cow that provided the meat. But first the marrow is melted down and lit on fire with Clase Azul mezcal, which retails for over $200 a bottle.

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In place of sour cream, Scherer mixed limes, creme fraiche and huitlacoche, or "corn smut," a delectable fungus that grows on the outside of corn.

Once all of these ingredients are layered together and covered with the crispy tortilla, the creation is topped with living butter lettuce (a version sold with its roots intact, so it continues to grow in the package for freshness) and sliced heirloom tomatoes. Then it's wrapped up in the soft tortilla and toasted.

But don't forget the sauce! In place of Taco Bell's signature Fire Sauce, the team made their own "Flame Juice" using 10 varieties of dried chilis, one of which runs $260 per pound.

"For comparison's sake, there is not a dramatic difference," Neal notes when comparing the upgraded Crunchwrap's appearance to the original. "But it's what's on the inside that counts."

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What does it taste like?

"That flame juice has a bite, then you start getting the queso," Neal says. "Woo, that beef is magical. It's so Taco Bell-y."

"If this job doesn't work out, you could get a job at Taco Bell," McLaughlin jokingly tells Scherer as he leans in for a second piece.

Here's the full list of what went into the Taco Bell update:

  • Grass-fed beef: $31.78
  • Oud Beersel braise: $63
  • Spices: $6.58
  • Velveeta: $1.25
  • Hafod cheddar: $8.05
  • Bone marrow: $21.73
  • Mezcal: $63
  • Blue corn tortillas: $3.99
  • Homemade flour tortilla: $5.34
  • Living butter lettuce: $1.72
  • Heirloom tomatoes: $2.05
  • Creme fraiche: $2.50
  • Finger limes: $4.46
  • Huitlacoche: $12.06
  • 10-chile "Flame Juice": $24.88

Check out the full video from Good Mythical Morning.