Chipotle is testing vegan Sofritas on local menus

Vegans and vegetarians, there's a new Chipotle burrito with your name on it: The fast-food chain is rolling out the East Coast test of Sofritas, a spicy shredded tofu, in its Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Richmond locations on Oct. 21.

Sofritas tacos. (Courtesy of Chipotle)

Sofritas are made with tofu from Hodo Soy, based in California. It's slowly braised in chipotle chilies, poblano peppers and a mix of adobo, tomato paste, agave and toasted cumin, among other ingredients. In an early taste test, the texture and spice of the tofu reminded us of a spicy, beef-laden chili, and it was definitely filling enough to please meat-eaters seeking a healthy option, as well as meatless eaters tired of loading their burritos with only beans, rice and veggies. The dish is also prepared with different utensils and on a different surface to avoid cross-contamination. It's almost enough to make vegetarians and vegans forget that whole non-vegetarian pinto beans controversy.

You can already get Sofritas on the West Coast and in Chicago, but the company chose the Mid-Atlantic for the dish's East Coast test. "We aren't looking for markets with more vegetarians necessarily because we believe that Sofritas is appealing to vegetarians and vegans and has crossover appeal," said Danielle Winslow, a Chipotle publicist, in an e-mail.

Sofritas are available in tacos, burritos, bowls and salads, and will be sold at the same price as Chipotle's chicken option. Locally, that's $6.37.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.



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