When I heard, I called my wife.
“I have bad news.”
“Biden’s running again?”
“Worse. They’re discontinuing Choco Tacos.”
It took a moment for her to recover. Then she asked, “Why?”
Some corporate financial move by Unilever, the world’s biggest soap maker, which owns Klondike, which makes Choco Tacos.
“Apparently, Choco Tacos aren’t profitable, so they’re getting the ax. How is that even possible?” I said. “Figures, a soap company scrubbing its portfolio of one of their best things.”
There was silence.
“Well,” she said, “you only have them once a year. So they never made any money on you.”
“We only eat turkey once a year,” I said, “and the meat packing industry isn’t discontinuing turkeys. And what about candy canes? Nobody eats them outside of Christmas, and they’re back on trees by the millions every year,” I said.
No, it’s not my fault, even though it’s true I indulge in Choco Tacos once a year, which is each August while vacationing in Wildwood, the best Shore town in New Jersey. I discovered the peanut and chocolate topped ice cream treat, held in a taco shaped waffle cone, more than 20 years ago. The Fudgy Wudgy man rolled by with his push cart on a particularly beautiful day on the beach, and I was hungry. I’d never had one. It was love at first bite.
The key to its deliciousness is that unlike a regular ice cream cone, in which you have to devour the ice cream before you get to the best part — the ice cream filled cone — the Choco Taco delivers cone and all from practically the first bite to last. It’s genius.
For years, my Choco Taco habit has remained the same. Dozing in my beach chair, suddenly roused by the Fudgy Wudgy guy’s familiar call, “Heyyy ice cream! Fudgy Wudgy, Italian ice, Choco Tacos, Chipwiches, ice cold ice cream.”
I hop to, buy my taco and enjoy. Life really can’t get much better. Like Polish Water Ice, Sam’s Pizza, Chipstix and other Wildwood boardwalk fare, I associate Choco Tacos with our one, glorious week at the Shore.
“Now they’re gone. It’s so wrong,” I told my wife.
“They still have Chipwiches, right?” she said.
Meh. Should call them Chip-a-tooth-wiches, the things are frozen so solid. Bite into one and see.
“ScrewBalls are good,” she said.
“Ech,” I said. “The ice is just ok and that gumball at the bottom – what is that? Like some tasteless industrial rubber product.”
There’s no substitute for Choco Tacos. So, hoping to preserve one more summer Shore week with the treat in hand, I rushed out to see if I could find some. Unilever/Klondike said that once its current inventory sells out, that’s it.
I went to a 7-Eleven. Gone. Went to Walmart. Nope. Went to Wawa. Zero. There must have been a run.
Later, I was visiting a friend in the hospital, also a Choco Taco fan, and broke the news.
“What is this world coming to?” he said. “Seems like we get more than our share of miserable (stuff), and they take the good (stuff) away.”
I speculated on whether we could make them ourselves.
“It’s doable,” I said. “All we need is a taco-shaped waffle cone.”
Not the same, he said.
It’s unclear what we Choco Taco lovers can do. Maybe someone will buy the rights to the treat, and it will be on sale again, such as the case of Necco Wafers a few years ago. Klondike gave vague hope on Twitter to legions of disappointed fans this week.
“We’re working hard to find a way to bring Choco Taco back to ice cream trucks in the coming years,” it said.
“Coming years.” That’s just swell, Klondike.
We can write terse letters to Unilever. Or beg. Or get together with other Choco Taco fans on one of those Robin Hood-style stock trading apps and buy and sell shares until the suits in corporate relent.
We could mount a hostile taco-ver.
A good dadhttps://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/story/opinion/2022/06/18/fathers-day-recalling-dad-who-kind-and-loved-cut-his-lawn
Columnist JD Mullane can be reached at 215-949-5745 or at [email protected].
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