A Tex-Mex classic is taking the fast-food industry by storm

The mere mention of chile con queso can trigger a Texan to recite a monologue praising the cheesy treat.

Ted Cruz called it a "visceral, powerful, family bond;" Lady Bird Johnson was rumored to serve the dip at White House events; and a duo of Austinites have devoted an entire podcast to the food.

Chipotle restaurants through the years:

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Chipotle restaurants through the years
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Chipotle restaurants through the years
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 9: Steve Ells, 32, owner of the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant chain, in front of one of his stores at 32nd & Lowell Blvd. in Denver, Colorado on Monday, Feb. 9, 1998. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Exterior of the Chipotle restaurant on Wisconsin Ave. NW Washington, D.C. (Photo by Michael Williamson/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
GLENVIEW, IL - DECEMBER 02: Activity is seen near the order-counter area inside a Chipotle restaurant December 2, 2005 in Glenview, Illinois. McDonald's Corp., owners of 92 percent of Chipotle, are preparing its Mexican-style eateries for an initial public offering. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - JANUARY 26: The Chipoltle Mexican Grill logo is painted on the door of one of the Chain's restaurants in the trendy Bucktown neighborhood January 26, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. McDonald's spin-off of the restaurant chain ended the day with the Initial Public Offering (IPO) closing at $44, double its opening price. It was the best opening day gain by a U.S.-based IPO in more than five years. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 26: Workers prepares meals at Chipotle Mexican Grill in West Bloomfield, Michigan on Thursday, January 26, 2006. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.'s shares more than doubled on the first day of trading after McDonald's Corp. took the fast-growing chain public. (Photo by Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 26: The original Chipotle restaurant at 1644 E. Evans Ave in Denver, shown here on Jauary 26, 2006. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
A Chipotle burrito in it's signature aluminum wrap on Friday, February 12, 2010. Burrito was that the original location on E. Evans Ave. Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post (Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Chipotle burritos at the original location on E. Evans Ave. Bryan Sawyer who eats about 3 times a week at the Chipotle eats a steak black bean burrito on Friday, February 12, 2010. Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post (Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer: -- Kyle Braley stirs a tomatillo green chili salsa at Chipotle Mexican Grill in South Portland on Monday, December 13, 2010. The popular restaurant chain, which serves naturally-raised beef, chicken and pork, has its grand opening today. (Photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
A pedestrian walks into a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. location in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. Chipotle, the best- performing restaurant stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index last year, is expected to release earnings data on Oct. 18. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. logo is displayed on a paper bag at a location in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. Chipotle, the best- performing restaurant stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index last year, is expected to release earnings data on Oct. 18. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. employees prepare food at a location in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. Chipotle, the best- performing restaurant stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index last year, is expected to release earnings data on Oct. 18. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A steak burrito is arranged for a photograph with a drink and bags of chips at a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. restaurant in Hollywood, California, U.S., on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is scheduled to release earnings data on July 18. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A employee sprinkles cheese on a burrito at a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. restaurant in Hollywood, California, U.S., on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is scheduled to release earnings data on July 18. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Employees prepare lunch orders at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant at Madison Square Park in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is expected to release earnings figures on Jan. 30. Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Employees prepare lunch orders at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant at Madison Square Park in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is expected to release earnings figures on Jan. 30. Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 05: A Chipotle restaurant is seen on March 5, 2014 in Miami, Florida. The Mexican fast food chain is reported to have tossed around the idea that it would temporarily suspend sales of guacamole due to an increase in food costs. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A Chipotle eatery in the Financial District of Manhattan NYC viewed from the outside looking in shows the interior design as well as people eating & talking, & also reflects the urban building from across the street in the upper left corner of the window
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2015/10/18: Restaurants in USA: Chipotle Mexican Grill Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. is a chain of restaurants in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and France, specializing in Mission burritos and tacos. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- FEBRUARY 8: A sign sits in the window of a Chipotle restaurant on Broadway in Lower Manhattan telling customers the restaurant is closed until 3 p.m. on February 8, 2016 in New York City. The Mexican food chain is closing stores for lunch nationwide for a meeting on food safety following a number of E. coli outbreaks. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
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"Few reversals of fortune cannot be salved with a molten bowl of queso (our shortened term of endearment) scooped up with fistfuls of crisp tortilla chips," Alison Cook wrote in the Houston Chronicle. "Job loss, breakup, writer's block, what have you: all seem smoothed and softened as the magical potion coats our gullets, slicking down the day's rough edges."

Now, fast-food chains across the US are ready to get in on the goopy action.

On Monday, Chipotle announced that it was testing an all-natural queso after years of customer demand for the dip. On Tuesday, Wendy's launched three limited-time queso offerings — the Bacon Queso Burger, Bacon Queso Chicken Sandwich, and Bacon Queso Fries. And, these innovations are on top of chains such as Moe's and Taco Bell that already serve queso.

So, what makes the cheesy dip so special?

QuesoBusiness Insider

First, the basics. Chile con queso, or queso, is made with a mix of chili peppers and melted cheese. Since processed cheese tends to provide the necessary melty and pleasingly gooey texture, queso is often made using Velveeta.

For years, Chipotle argued it would be impossible for the chain to serve queso and stick to its all-natural mission.

"Queso has to be made with artificial stabilizers to keep its shiny liquid form. Ever heard of all-natural goopy cheese? Do you think there's a magical cow that squirts queso out of its udders?" Chipotle said in a snarky 2016 video explaining the cheesy elixir's absence from the menu.

However, customers' demands finally forced Chipotle to change its tune and convinced non-Tex-Mex chains like Wendy's to add queso to the menu.

But, why do people like queso so much? And, why are chains jumping on the bandwagon?

The answer isn't that deep — it's melted cheese. Even when it's made with the cheapest cheese you can find or doesn't quite hit the prime, goopy target (like Chipotle's slightly mealy version), it's going to be pretty damn good.

And, for a fast-food chain, adding something to the menu that can be slopped on top of pretty much any menu item and improve its taste — or at least add a bunch of calories — is a home run.

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SEE ALSO: Chipotle is testing a new Tex-Mex 'queso' dip it said it would never add to the menu — here's the verdict

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