This fast-food taco has been compared to a 'wet envelope of cat food' — and Americans eat 554 million a year (JACK)

Jack in the Box's tacos may be "vile" and reportedly taste like cat food, but they're also crucial to the fast-food chain's business.

The fast-food chain sells 554 million tacos every year, making them the most popular menu item, reported the Wall Street Journal. However, the Journal also noted that many people who gorge themselves on Jack in the Box tacos are also disgusted by their cravings.

"I was like, 'I must have more. This is vile and amazing,'" Heather Johnson told the Journal of her first experience at Jack in the Box.

"Jack in the Box tacos aren't tacos," Mike Primavera wrote on Twitter. "They're more like a wet envelope of cat food."

"You can't look at it too long before you eat it," Primavera told the Journal. "You just kind of have to get it outside of the sleeve and into your mouth."

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"Mc10:35" from McDonald's 
"Apple Pie McFlurry" from McDonald's

“Animal Style” Burger/Fries from In-N-Out

Starbucks' "Butterbeer Frappuccino"

Burger King's "Rodeo Burger"

A triple-layered drink from Starbucks

McDonald's' "McGangBang Sandwich"
Starbucks' "Nutella Frappuccino"
Chipotle's "Quesarito"
"Green Tea and Cotton Candy Frappés" from Starbucks
Dairy Queen's "Arctic Rush Float"
“Grand Slam" from Wendy's
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"Thin Mint Frappuccino" from Starbucks

Subway's "Pizza Sub"

Scrolling through social media reveals that Johnson and Primavera are far from alone in their mix of love and contempt for Jack in the Box's tacos.

There are lovers (including some celebrity fans):

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And there are haters:

And there's perhaps the most honest group — those who are disgusted by their love:

Jack in the Box's tacos are a unique menu item. While most fast-food places that sell burgers, such as McDonald's and Burger King, have a fairly similar menu, Jack in the Box goes far beyond the usual burger-and-fry fare, with options such as egg rolls, stuffed jalapeños, and of course tacos.

Plus, Jack in the Box's tacos are nothing like what you'd find on the menu at other Mexican fast-food chains, like Taco Bell. Instead, the menu item distinguishes itself with American cheese and a preparation technique that involves by being dunked in the fryer, producing a handheld meal that's particularly soggy and greasy if a customer waits too long to eat.

The greasy mess is paying off for Jack in the Box. Last quarter, the company reported same-stores sales increased 2%, which Jack in the Box said beat all "major competitors in the burger category." As the most popular menu items, tacos proved crucial in Jack in the Box's mission to beat the burger business.

Click here to read the Wall Street Journal's dive into exactly what makes Jack in the Box's tacos so gross — yet so successful.

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