A Taco Bell executive dropped a fiery bombshell during a video meeting this week: Some beloved items from the Volcano menu — a spicy but discontinued lineup — may return this summer, and fans can barely contain their excitement.
In a clip of that meeting originally posted on Reddit's r/TacoBell forum, we see Liz Matthews, the chain's global chief food innovation officer, giving the biggest wink-wink-nudge-nudge ever. "I don't know who's out there for volcano, but if you are on Reddit or the internet, volcano is a big deal," she says while glancing around the room knowingly. "So I don't know what you're doing June 29th, but you might want to head to Taco Bell, cause volcano, I don't know, it could be there." There's even more encouraging head bobs on that last bit.
Volcano returns to @tacobell June 29, 2023.— Living Más (@AlwaysLivingMas) February 23, 2023
“A ‘fireside chat’ Taco Bell executives had with executives at my workplace” - /u/eyeheartewe on Reddit (r/TacoBell) pic.twitter.com/6p8oYUt8mc
In a world where every Taco Bell fan wishes that some discontinued item could come back, the Volcano menu items are probably the most pined after. It's all because of the lava sauce, which is a creamy sauce that was actually spicy, unlike most "spicy" fast food items. That sauce was generously poured on the Volcano taco in a bright red crunchy shell, rolled into the Volcano burrito, and drizzled upon the Volcano nachos. Fans in the know would add lava sauce to other items, too, to get their fix. The lineup began in 2008 with the introduction of the Volcano taco and nachos, followed by the burrito in 2009 (though superfans may recall a lava sauce-less version that was first released in 1995 alongside the film Congo).
The entire Volcano menu was unceremoniously dropped in 2013, though the lava sauce did make a brief appearance in 2015 with the short-lived Volcano Quesarito. Since then the discontinued menu has inspired passionate articles, almost daily requests to Taco Bell on Twitter, and even a Change.org petition demanding its return.
While this is technically still only a rumor, the Bell's superfans are already hyped. "Volcano Menu has my all-time favorite Taco Bell food. This is huge. I’ve missed it so much!" said u/Gruzzly. "Even the idea of Lava Sauce returning is enough. I will add it to every item I order, even Cinnamon Twists or a Medium Drink Lid."
"June 28th 11:59:59 I’ll be outside TB with a [expletive] tent," said u/ReadThisAsRead. (Pretty colorful language is all over these discussions as excited users get a little frenzied.) "Same bro!" responded another user. "I'm gonna get me a 12 pack of beer and a chair lol"
"Sooo, am I finally getting a Taco Bell tattoo!?!?!" said one particularly dedicated TB fan. "Give me the Lava and I'll make an appointment that day."
Other fans are more cautiously optimistic, considering the company hasn't officially announced anything yet. They're expecting it to be a very limited release, kind of like the returning chicken wings earlier this year, and that seems like the most likely outcome if the volcano menu items return. "Knowing Taco Bell," said one jaded user, "it will be back for 2 weeks only but run out of the ingredients for it after the first week."