A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 30, 2016
Choco Taco or Taco Helado (ice cream taco)

The ice cream taco was popularized by “Choco Taco,” a product that is trademarked with a first use date of August 15, 1983. The Choco Taco was invented in Pennsylvania by Alan Drazen of the Jack and Jill Ice Cream Company, that sold the Choco Taco out of its ice cream trucks before selling it to restaurants and supermarkets. The Choco Taco has vanilla ice cream with fudge swirls inside a sugar cone (like an ice cream cone)—all shaped like a taco and covered in chocolate sauce and chopped nuts.

The term “Ice Cream Taco” appeared in a syndicated “Hints From Heloise” column in December 1976, but this was simply someone suggesting regular taco ingredients inside an ice cream cone.

“Taco Helado (Ice Cream Tacos)” was cited in The Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), in a November 1982 advertisement for Willy & Guillermo’s restaurant. It appears that Taco Helado existed before Choco Taco, but details about the Taco Helado are unknown.


Klondike
CHOCO TACO
Vanilla ice cream with fudgy swirls wrapped in a crunchy sugar cone taco, then drenched in a thick, chocolatey coating and sprinkled with peanuts.
We recommend biting into one of these creamy, crunchy south-of-the-border inspired novelties while wearing your favorite sombrero — no hot sauce needed. Also, major props to Mexico for inventing the taco.

Wikipedia: Choco Taco
Choco Taco is a brand of dessert food resembling a taco, consisting of a disk of waffle cone material folded to resemble a hard taco shell, reduced-fat[citation needed] vanilla ice cream, artificially flavored fudge, peanuts, and a milk chocolate coating. The product was invented in Philadelphia in the 1980s by Alan Drazen Senior Vice President of the Jack and Jill Ice Cream Company, but was first rolled out in 1984 when it became popular in mobile vending trucks and convenience stores. The ice cream snack was an immediate favorite of Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker. It made its first appearance in supermarkets nationwide by Good Humor-Breyers in Richmond, Virginia in 1996 as “America’s coolest taco,” at the Supermarket Industry Convention in Chicago.

Background
The “Choco Taco” is sold under the Klondike brand, marketed as “The Original Ice Cream Taco.” The brand is sold by Good Humor-Breyers, a division of Unilever.

4 December 1976, Omaha (NE) World-Herald, “Hints From Heloise” (King Features Syndicate), pg. 6, col. 6:
Ice Cream Taco?
Dear Heloise:
Instead of a taco shell, use an ice cream cone for your child’s taco.

Our youngster gobbles this down with no mess and rally thinks he’s had a treat.
Marie

30 November 1982, The Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), pg. C7, col. 5 ad:
Introducing Willy & Guillermo’s
MEXICO CITY SPECIALTIES
a first for Phoenix!
We went 1,000 miles farther south of the border and came back with Taquitos al Carbon made with authentic hand-made tortillas, Mesquite Broiled Shrimp, Mexican Lasagna, Red Snapper Mexican Creole style, Sopapilla Sundaes and Taco Helado (Ice Cream Tacos).

18 June 1984, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “For Vendors on Ice-Cream Trucks, Sales Turn Soft During a Heat Wave” by Terry Bivens, pg. C4:
“People think we clean up when a heat wave hits,” said Alan S. Drazen, vice president of Jack & Jill Ice Cream Co. in Philadelphia. “But the heat is a very negative thing for us.”
(...)
Ice-cream trucks are only one line of Jack & Jill’s business, Drazen said. The company also sells its products through vending machines, and makes bulk sales to schools, hospitals and supermarkets. And it is now introducing the Choco Taco - a concoction of ice-cream, fudge, milk chocolate, peanuts and sugar-cone shell that will be sold in convenience stores, taco restaurant chains and, of course, from the company’s trucks.

Google Books
Dairy Record
Volume 85
1984
Pg. 24:
Choco Taco, as it’s called, is the brainchild of Jack and Jill vice president Alan Drazen. It is a taco- shaped sugar cone shell, dipped in milk chocolate to protect its freshness and crunch, and then filled with 3.7 ounces of chocolate-swirled vanilla ice cream rolled in chocolate and roasted nuts. Gold Bond Ice Cream is manufacturing the product. Drazen told Dairy Record that, at presstime, Choco Taco was being rolled out into the company’s 500 convenience-store accounts. Since early this summer, the novelty has been available from Jack and Jill’s 135 vending trucks and has already become the company’s top-selling specialty. Priced at almost one dollar a taco, that’s pretty rare, Drazen says.

Eater
The Legend of the Choco Taco
Investigating the tallest tale in the ice cream business

by Jason Cohen, August 26, 2016
(...)
Another tall tale comes from Alan Drazen, who claims he saw the Choco Taco in a vision.

“I was on an expedition in Mexico and got separated from my party,” Drazen says. “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.” This is the story the inventor of the Choco Taco tells when people beg him to embellish. Because yes, way back in 1983, Alan Drazen really did invent the Choco Taco. Not in Mexico. Not even in Texas or California. But it was along the border, where a mighty river separates two interdependent yet often hostile lands: Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

(Trademark)
Word Mark CHOCO TACO
Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: Ice Cream. FIRST USE: 19830815. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19830815
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73441883
Filing Date August 31, 1983
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition August 28, 1984
Change In Registration CHANGE IN REGISTRATION HAS OCCURRED
Registration Number 1304008
Registration Date November 6, 1984
Owner (REGISTRANT) SIMCO SALES SERVICE OF PENNSYLVANIA, INC. d.b.a. Jack & Jill Ice Cream Co. CORPORATION PENNSYLVANIA 3100 MARWIN AVENUE BENSALEM PENNSYLVANIA 19020
(LAST LISTED OWNER) SIMCO LOGISTICS, INC. CORPORATION PENNSYLVANIA 101 COMMERCE DRIVE MOORETOWN NEW JERSEY 08057
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record Nancy Rubner Frandsen
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20140310.
Renewal 2ND RENEWAL 20140310
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, August 30, 2016 • Permalink