TACO SHOCK! Good Humor's Choco Tacos
(First published in Planet Magazine, 29aug1995)
Based on a representative sample of office workerswell, seven
or eight, maybewho salivated Pavlovian streams at the bare
sight of it, an advertisement that appeared in the Sunday
Arizona Republic a few weeks ago must rate as one of the most
successful print ads of recent times.
The ad was for a product called Choco Tacos. Maybe you've seen
these things. Now, I love Mexican food, but the idea of a
chocolate taco struck me as simultaneously so goofy and
disgusting that I'd been making fun of them since they first
turned up at the Circle K downstairs from where I work. I brought
the ad to work as a joke, and while a couple of us were laughing
about it, another person came up and instantly went all
enthusiastic on us. He'd seen the ad, too, but on him it had
almost magical effect, and he told us of his firm intention to
seek out a Choco Taco. I left the ad where it lay on my co-worker's desk and as the day proceeded (so she told me) pretty
much everyone who saw it had the same response.
I was surprised that no one shared my disgust, but maybe I
shouldn't have been, considering some of the other monstrosities
to be found in the world of Mexican food. Example One: Mexican
restaurants serve fried ice cream. Example Two: another very
popular Mexican dishmoleconsists of a perfectly good turkey
that has been desecrated by a sort of chocolate chili sauce
having more or less the consistency, if not very nearly the
taste, of motor oil. Though I consider both to be Food Violations
of the highest order, mole definitely outranks Choco Tacos in
the repulsive Mexican food category. Or would, if Choco Tacos
really were Mexican. Or food.
Nonetheless, ever the first on my block to make the big mistakes,
I had to try one. And you know, either it's coincidental or
someone at Good Humor actually thought this one through, but
there really are some definite similarities between a Choco Taco
and a real taco:
- A Choco Taco has a shelllike a real taco.
- A Choco Taco has chocolate poured over the top
and chocolate's a dairy productlike the cheese in a
- A Choco Taco has peanuts, which are in fact not
nuts at all but legumeslike beans, which people
often eat with real tacos.
- A Choco Taco has vanilla ice cream, which could be
said to slightly resemble a real taco's sour cream...if
you squint a little. (Squint, dammit!)
- A Choco Taco has fudge stripingI guess that's
supposed to represent meat. Okay, so that's the one
thing you'll almost never find in a real taco. At least
not at Taco Bell.
The only thing missing is an ice cream equivalent for lettuce.
And thank God for that. What we have, then, is a cone, some ice
cream, some peanuts, and some chocolatebasically, a squashed-
flat Drumstick. But at least Choco Tacos look like tacos.
Drumsticks don't look anything like drumsticks. Unless we're
talking chicken drumsticks, in which case we should lower our
voices so chicken-flavored ice cream doesn't become another
disgusting bordertown menu item (see mole). In fact, a
friend told me that a few Mexican restaurants had added Choco
Tacos to their menus. I called a representative sample and
learned several things. For starters, I learned how you say "Is
this a joke?" in Spanish. From which I learned to question the
trustworthiness of certain friends, especially if they are called
"Burford." But I also learned that La Fonda's phone number sounds
like "Old MacDonald," so the effort wasn't a complete waste.
Unlike Choco Tacos.
You'll want to address those letters of complaint to the
imaginative folks over at Good Humorwhich is what you'd have to
have even to think of eating one of these things. (That, or a
serious food-chocolate dyslexia.) But if you should for some
reason be forced to eat a Choco Tacoif, say, you were stranded
on a desert island with nothing but an Igloo Playmate full of the
thingsthen eat, by all means. Just try not to think about it.
[Choco Tacos are available by the box from your grocer's freezer.
Or you can get them separately for about a buck apiece from
Circle K and other gourmet shopping establishments.]
© Deuce of Clubs