Photo: DebbiSmirnoff (iStock)

Taco Bell is expanding its considerable fast-food empire into Southeast Asia. Bloomberg reports that the Bell is set to open 40 restaurants in Thailand by 2022, according to Liz Williams, president of TB’s international division. According to Bloomberg, the first restaurant is scheduled to open in Bangkok on January 24, where “flavors in offerings such as tacos and burritos have been tweaked to suit local tastes.”

That tweaking involves heightening the spice factor for the more heat-accustomed palates in Thailand. Williams said in an interview, “What we think is hot and spicy in the U.S. is just starting off in Thailand on the spice scale, so we dialed up the sauces.”

Lucky Thailand. We here at The Takeout are huge fans of Taco Bell’s spicier Diablo sauce, even bestowing it with the title of “Best In Show” in the hot sauce category in our extensive guide to fast-food sauces, describing it as an “appealing lime-citrus hit, smooth tomato undertow, spiciness that lingers and lingers.” So we can only imagine the pepper-ingested splendors these new TB customers will soon be enjoying. A fiery, white-hot Chalupa? A spicy green-sauced nacho basket? The mind reels, but we expect TB Thai sales to soon skyrocket.

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