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Anatomy of an ice cream taco
The dessert you didn't know you needed, probably
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The Roll's OH-La-La ice cream taco is a messy, pricey celebration of the South's favorite ice-cold dessert. - photo by Nathaniel Berg

Rolls OH-La-La’s ice cream taco brings together all the best elements of quality frozen cuisine and high art. The taco is not for either casual or frugal frozen treat fans.

Sweet as it may be, it’s impossible to sugar coat the $7 price tag that comes with the dessert. But if you are serious about your ice cream, the experience is a difficult one to pass up for those looking for something different.

Before you can have your taco prepared, there are a few decisions you have to make, and let me be the first to tell you you’ll want them made before you step into line, avoiding the risk of impatient foot taps and dirty looks from the more experienced customers piling up in line behind you (trust me, this comes from first-hand experience).

The first and most difficult choice is the ice cream flavor. Of course, staples like chocolate, vanilla and cookies & cream are on the table, but more exotic selections like the Sweet Monkey — an excellent combination of banana, Nutella and sliced almonds — are also available.

Having no clue what the best flavor for the taco was, I decided to consult the cashier, and she recommended either the Sweet Monkey or Strawberry Fantasy, a cream-based flavor with cheesecake and fresh strawberries. I went with Sweet Monkey.

Next come toppings, where you can choose from a selection of fresh fruit or more traditional options like chocolate syrup, M&Ms or whipped cream. In an effort to get the most authentic experience, I once again asked the advice of my cashier. I ended up with Pirouline rolled hazelnut wafer cookies to go along with caramel syrup.

The order finally complete, my taco sat before me.

The shell comes in the shape of a traditional hard taco shell, and is made of high-quality waffle cone material. It comes in a variety of pastel colors. Mine was blue, but I was assured the color is merely due to food coloring and does not affect flavor.

The ice cream is rolled and placed inside, and the toppings are arranged meticulously on top. Each order is more than just a dish with some ice cream. It’s a work of art. In my case, the Pirouline cookies were placed in each end of the taco, sticking out of the ice cream. The caramel was drizzled over the middle. Finally, the order was adorned with a mini toothpick umbrella, a shade that matched colors with the taco shell.

When I was first handed the masterpiece, I didn’t even want to eat it. It was simply too beautiful.

Of course, the feeling passed quickly.

The hazelnut in the cookies blended perfectly with the banana and almonds in the ice cream, and the caramel drizzle added an extra kick of sweetness that complemented everything else involved in the dessert. The shell was neither too brittle nor too chewy (a rare find in the world of waffle cones), and it was as rich a cone as I have ever tried. From a pure flavor standpoint, the entire experience was exquisite.

However, like anything, the treat does have its drawbacks. Finding a way to first bite into the taco is a challenge, and upon choosing my approach and diving in, melted ice cream immediately started to leak through the cracks. Suffice to say, it takes quite a few napkins to power through and eat the entire thing. It becomes clear early on in the experience that there is a reason ice cream cones typically come in cone form rather than as taco shells, and the Rolls OH-La-La’s presentation seems to be largely a sticky gimmick.

Still, the effort put into the dessert combined with the quality of ice cream and other ingredients makes the purchase well worth it to those with a sweet tooth. I would recommend this ice cream taco to anyone with adventurous taste who isn’t afraid to get a little messy.

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Lissette Martinez prepares an ice cream treat Monday, June 4, 2018 at Roll's Oh-La-La at 125 John Morrow Parkway. Martinez pours the ingredients onto the ice-cold metal surface and chops, mushes and prods it while adding flavors, fruits or candies and then spreads it out thin across the cold surface before rolling it up. - photo by Scott Rogers
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