In today's thrilling vegan news, Chipotle is adding a tofu option to its permanent national menu, to be available in Dallas-Fort Worth stores later in 2014, possibly by the end of spring. The company will offer its spicy scrambled tofu called "sofritas," which can be added to a burrito, taco, rice bowl or salad.
The result of a year's worth of testing, the sofritas is a blend of tofu, chiles and spices that Chipotle chef-creator Nate Appleman likens to a chili. Made with organic, non-GMO tofu, it is braised with chipotle and poblano peppers, and it is meant to evoke sofrito, a spicy Latin sauce.
The addition is a big deal not only because of the affirmation it gives to vegan dining, but also because Chipotle rarely changes its menu. Interest in veganism has been on the rise in the past five years. As for Chipotle's menu, the only notable ingredient it has added in the past 20 years is brown rice.
Chipotle has embraced some of the issues that concern vegans such as factory farming. In September, it released a damning cartoon on the subject called The Scarecrow, and it is currently hosting a satiric online series on Hulu about factory farming called Farmed and Dangerous.
The company has been deluged with requests on its Facebook page since it first introduced the sofritas in San Francisco in early 2013. The sofritas were rolled out on the West Coast in June 2013 and will be available in the Northeast on March 3.
According to a manager at the Chipotle store in North Dallas, there've already been discussions about the roll-out in Texas. A Chipotle spokesman said that the company hoped it would be "soon." The sofritas are already available across the Southwest, including Colorado and New Mexico. A map on the website shows a state-by-state availability as it happens.