Zengo Reinvents The Chocotaco - NYC

Zengo puts its spin on an iconic ice cream novelty

With a little ingenuity and one helluva expensive machine, Zengo's pastry chef Ashley Summers is reinventing a summer treat.

You may have spent childhood summers chasing down the ice cream truck to buy Choco Tacos. Now all you have to do is get yourself to Midtown.

Introduced in mid-July, the tacos (also available to go) instantly became a No. 1 seller ($10 for 3, $60 for 15).

It's easy to see why: Summers starts by deep-frying wonton wrappers until they crisp up with crunchy bubbles, then molds the wrappers into taco-perfect shape using bent can lids.

She uses a Pacojet (list price: $4,000) to make the vanilla ice cream. Rather than slowly churning a chilled base with a paddle, the titanium-coated Pacojet blade shaves a frozen block of ingredients into instant ice cream. Neither too hard nor too rich, it has the fluffy creaminess of lowbrow summer confections and the flavor of pure Mexican vanilla.

Summers paints a chocolate hazelnut paste on the inside of the taco, then showers it with salty-sweet cashews. To finish: a drizzle of dark chocolate sauce.

It's unalloyed nostalgia in taco form.

Zengo, 622 Third Ave. (at 40th St.); 212-808-8110 or richardsandoval.com/zengony