Taco Bell Unleashes Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit on Unwitting Masses
Why, Taco Bell, whyyyyyyy?!
Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
When you Google "dessert taco," all sorts of interesting and visually appealing images pop up. There are the cinnamon sugar-coated fried flour tortilla versions stuffed with fresh fruit. There are ones designed to look like savory tacos, but which are actually made of sugar cookies, shredded coconut and crushed cookies. There are the old standby Choco Tacos made by Klondike, for which, admittedly, I have a weakness. (Also, they're available in stores all over Houston. I checked.)
And then there are Taco Bell's new abominations.
Last month, Taco Bell released a few new kits, including the Cheesy Double Decker Taco Dinner Kit, the Crunchy and Soft Taco Dinner Kit, the Soft Taco Dinner Kit, and, most unsettling, the Cinnamon Nachos Dessert Kit and the Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit.
I want to talk to you about the Chocolate Taco Dessert Kit. And I want you to understand the sacrifices I make for you, dear readers, when I taste-test products such as these. This, right here, this is love.
But ... it doesn't really look like the photo on the box ...
The box for said kit shows a Choco Taco-esque creation featuring what appears to be a hard chocolate-corn tortilla shell stuffed with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce, topped with whipped cream and decorated with rainbow sprinkles, 'cause why not? It doesn't look that bad.
Now, because this kit is sold in the taco shell aisle, not the dessert or frozen foods aisle, I realized quickly that it didn't actually come with ice cream or whipped cream. It also states that on the box in fairly small print. So I left Walmart with two boxes of Taco Bell Chocolate Taco Dessert Kits (they were on sale), a quart of ice cream, a can of whipped cream and a bottle of TUMS.
Unlike other reviewers of the chocolate taco, I found all six of my shells to be intact (no need for chocolate nachos, thank goodness). I broke one anyway so I could taste it. Then I made this face: ಠ_ಠ
I don't think that's supposed to happen.
You see, the reason Choco Tacos work is they use a taco shell that's more like a waffle cone than a taco, and it's
soggy flexible enough to mold to the ice cream, preventing, to a degree, ice cream spillage. The Taco Bell Dessert Tacos are not like this. They seem to be slightly sweetened hard corn taco shells with a hint of cocoa and something else that turns them a dark chocolatey color. They hardly taste like chocolate. Mainly they taste like crappy corn tortillas. In my experience, corn tortillas do not pair well with ice cream. I soldiered on.
I can't tell if it was because the ice cream was too hard, the shells were too brittle or I have the dexterity of a gorilla with chopsticks, but I had a hell of a time spooning ice cream into the taco shell as suggested on the box. I found a teaspoon to be a tad too large, and when I tried to cram the ice cream in to make it look like the photo on the box, the shell broke.
It looks like a taco got in a fight with an ice cream sundae. And lost.
I decided to make do with a cracked shell and moved on to the chocolate sauce portion of the assembly. The chocolate sauce that comes with the kit is less like Hershey's syrup and more like hot fudge in consistency, so it comes out in globs instead of delicate drizzles. Also, it tastes like chemicals. After that comes the whipped cream from a can. No issues there, as that system was perfected years ago. And finally, the sprinkles, which really do complete the look.
It should be noted at this point that the assembly process is fairly difficult done with just two hands. There needs to be some sort of taco holder included in the kit or a way to punch out parts of the box to create a cradle like those found with boxes of Easter egg dye. When you put an ice-cream-filled, chocolate sauce-topped, broken taco on its side to open the whipped cream, things get messy.
Anyway, now I was ready to taste my creation (which, I might add, looked very little like the image on the box). I took one giant bite, and as my teeth crunched through the unpleasantly crispy taco shell, the shell broke into at least five pieces, and ice cream and chocolate sauce oozed out of every orifice. One bite in, and I was covered in sugary goop and my taco was no longer something to be consumed with my hands but instead with a spoon.
After that, I pretty much gave up on the Taco Bell Chocolate Dessert Taco. I grabbed a new bowl, scooped out some ice cream, topped it with the kit's semi-decent chocolate sauce, added whipped cream and went to town on that. So now I have four unused (and, I'd argue, inedible) taco shells and a whole other kit sitting on my kitchen table looking pathetic and unappetizing.
The bottle of TUMS I purchased at the same time, though...that's already half-empty.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.