To Deuce of Clubs index page To Write index page Autographed copies of Adventures with the Mojave Phone Booth are now available!

TACO SHOCK! Good Humor's Choco Tacos

by Deuce of Clubs

(First published in Planet Magazine, 29aug1995)


Based on a representative sample of office workers—well, seven or eight, maybe—who 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 dish—mole—consists 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:

  1. A Choco Taco has a shell—like a real taco.

  2. A Choco Taco has chocolate poured over the top— and chocolate's a dairy product—like the cheese in a real taco.

  3. A Choco Taco has peanuts, which are in fact not nuts at all but legumes—like beans, which people often eat with real tacos.

  4. 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!)

  5. A Choco Taco has fudge striping—I 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 chocolate—basically, 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 Humor—which 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 Taco—if, say, you were stranded on a desert island with nothing but an Igloo Playmate full of the things—then 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

To Deuce of Clubs