Taco Bell's newest food uses an oversized Cheez-It

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

    (CNN) -- Taco Bell is testing a new menu item with a beloved snack food. The fast-food chain hopes the creation can replicate the success of its Doritos shells.

The experiment: A massive Cheez-It, which is 16 times the standard size, serves as the base for Taco Bell's new "Big Cheez-It Tostada." The meal layers ground beef, sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce and cheddar cheese on the cheesy cracker for $2.49. It's described as an "abundantly cheesy and nostalgic, yet magically modern, dining experience," according to a release.

The second item Taco Bell is testing is a "Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme," which replaces the internal tostada shell, with the giant Cheez-It for $4.29. It's packed with the usual ingredients, including ground beef, nacho cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.

Both are available only in one restaurant, located in Irvine, California, for the next two weeks.

Like many fast food chains, Taco Bell regularly tests menu items before potentially expanding their availability to other locations. The company, based in Southern California, has used its hometown for a plant-based protein made from peas and chickpeas last year.

Partnering with a well-known snack could also help boost sales. Its Doritos taco shells quickly became a fast food icon shortly after its 2012 debut and sold over 500 million of them within about a year of its launch.

The brand is a strong performer for its parent company, Yum! Brands. It reported same-store sales growth of 5%, beating expectations, in its most recent earnings report.

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