Choco Taco, an ice cream truck staple, dies at 39

RIP to a truly novel dessert.

Some trace its roots back to a 1924 song called “Choco in My Taco.” Others believe it was created by Taco Bell.

But ask the man behind the creation, and you’ll find the real origin story is even crazier.

Alan Drazen, inventor of the Choco Taco, told Eater, “I was on an expedition in Mexico and got separated from my party. It was hot. I hadn’t had anything to drink. And then I saw a mirage. An ice cream taco, rising out of the distance. That’s how I got the idea.”

After four decades atop the novelty ice cream heap, Drazen’s creation has been discontinued to make room for new options, according to The Takeout.

Born in 1983…

… the Choco Taco enjoyed a quaint childhood spent primarily in ice cream trucks. It wasn’t until 1989, when Unilever acquired the license to its distribution and manufacturing, that it really took off.

  • The move placed Choco Taco in ~20k-30k convenience store freezers (which eventually grew to ~120k freezers across warehouse stores and supermarkets).

It also led to a partnership with Taco Bell, which popularized the treat at thousands of locations across the country.

The Choco Taco…

… will be remembered for its explosive flavor and unique mouthfeel. Its multi-layered construction ensured every bite contained ice cream, cone, nuts, and chocolate. Within a category literally called “novelties,” the Choco Taco was truly novel.

While the taco will be sorely missed, its influence lives on through devoted disciples who have added their own twist to the legendary dessert, including Canon in Seattle and Dom’s Creamery in Connecticut.

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