Earlier this month, people began spreading the rumor that the Choco Taco, a frozen waffle shell filled with ice cream, was about to be discontinued. It began with a small-time vendor named Sno Kone Joe from New York.
He posted the news on July 21, along with a link to Klondike's website, asking fans of the product to contact them and ask them to stop the massacre.
When Snopes tried to verify the story, Klondike reassured them that they were only discontinuing the 4-pack, and their product would still be available in stores.
It was all a lie. On July 25, Klondike stabbed the nation in the back with a statement confirming their intent to senselessly murder the frozen treat:
"Unfortunately, the Klondike Choco Taco has been discontinued. We've experienced an unprecedented spike in demand across our portfolio and have had to make very tough decisions to ensure availability of our full portfolio nationwide. We're very sorry for any disappointment!"
Twitter exploded. Panic buying ensued, and citizens around the country came together to grieve their beloved snack. Reddit co-founder, Alex Ohanian, even offered to buy the rights to Choco Taco to "...keep it from melting away from future generations’ childhoods,” stating, "I can’t let this happen. Not to America. Not on my watch.”
No word yet on whether or not Klondike will allow it. Their Twitter account does claim that they have Choco Taco experts working on a way to reverse the catastrophe, but after they lied to us, it's going to be very difficult to trust them again.
The Tacolate: A New Savior Emerges From the Ashes
On October 4th, National Taco Day, we will herald the coming of a new chocolate taco, known as the Chocolate Tacolate (pronounce tah-koh-lit). It's a frozen delicacy for the new age, and for the time being, it could replace its 40-year-old predecessor.
The Tacolate is made with ancho chili cinnamon ice cream, wrapped in a handmade waffle shell, and topped with salt-flecked fudge. The addition of savory and spicy elements creates a unique flavor that blends quite well with the sweetness.
Whoever created it must've been trying to pay homage to its pseudo-Mexican roots. Chili, cinnamon, and chocolate are all a huge part of Mexican cuisine. In fact, the ingredient list mimics the famous Aztec drink, xocolaltl. But make no mistake, it is a dessert, and it was designed with the American palate in mind. It's no more daunting than any other treat.
To some, the Tacolate could be considered a superior product. Not to speak ill of the dead, but the Choco Taco was mass-produced in factories using God-knows-what ingredients. It was packed with gobs of corn syrup, preservatives, caking agents, and whatever passed for cream. The shell was fantastic, but it was more cardboard wafer than waffle. It was comprised of chemicals, not the traditional corn meal or flour--something else, and while that might've been OK when it came out in 1984, people demand better nowadays.
The Tacolate is made by hand. There's no dirty factory, no complacent workers or old machinery. The company that makes it, Salt & Straw, takes pride in its products.
They're not a faceless conglomerate like Klondike or its parent company Unilever. They don't keep secrets or tailor their image. With the Choco Taco, we saw the brand, not the source. To some, that doesn't sit right, especially with products that are meant to be eaten.
Salt & Straw is more transparent. Their ice cream is made in a kitchen, not a factory. Their website tells us where the cream comes from and how their cows are treated. They let you go into a shop, where they utilize local talent and ingredients, and you can see the face of the person making your food. Oregonians need that personal touch.
There is a downside. The Salt & Straw is referring to their Tacolate as a limited edition, meaning it's probably not going to be a permanent part of their menu. That could change, but the company is releasing it to capitalize on the Choco Taco mourning period, and eventually, that too shall pass; when it does, the Tacolate will probably disappear.
If you want a bite, you're going to have to act quickly, and you might have to go on a road trip. In Oregon state, Salt & Straw is only available in Portland Metro, Lake Oswego, and Eugene. They do online orders, but there is a chance that the Tacolate will only be available in stores. We'll have to wait and see.