In its ever-expanding quest to make its restaurants more authentically Mexican, Chipotle has unveiled that it's adding tofu to the regular menu. The vegan "sofritas" are made from tofu from Hodo Soy, shredded and braised with chipotle and poblano peppers.
Chipotle, which is building a new store in the heart of Lakewood, has long been trying to present itself as not just another fast food chain, in spite of what the menu calorie counts imply (a chicken burrito with beans, rice, salsa and cheese is 890 calories and 29 grams of fat). But the new tofu option sounds tempting. Often a hurdle in getting people to try tofu is the texture, and in cube form they can be too chewy or spongy. Shredding it before braising could bypass the whole issue.
Fast Company recently wrote about the factory that produces all of Chipotle's tofu, and explains that breaking the tofu into pieces also helps enhance flavor by maximizing the surface area that can absorb seasoning.
Chipotle already had the distinction of being a fast food restaurant where you could easily get meat-free options, but until now that's just meant that you can order any item on the menu without meat. All the taco and burrito variations are available without beef, pork or chicken but the sofritas are the first Chipotle offering with alternate protein. We're still not entirely sure what "sofrita" is though. Sofrito is a sauce used for braising, and perhaps Chipotle is trying to send the message that tofu is feminizing?