Picture this. It’s a boiling hot summer day, and you just need to cool off. So you pop into a little shop and order yourself a cone of bright-pink ice cream (strawberry is so refreshing) without bothering to read the label first. You take a bite and boom — it’s a thermonuclear explosion in your mouth. That’s not hyperbole on our part: that’s really how the creators of Respiro del Diavolo ice cream describe it. After all, it is made of Carolina Reaper peppers.
Aldwych Cafe and Ice Cream Parlor in Glasgow has a reputation for its haute cuisine ice creams and gelatos. But its newest flavor, Respiro del Diavolo (“Breath of the Devil”) isn’t for your average sweet tooth. You’ll find the Carolina Reaper towards the top of any “hottest pepper” lists — only the Dragon’s Breath and Pepper X chiles claim to be hotter. It clocks in at an eye-popping 1.5 million Scoville units. It’s the kind of pepper that you eat only once, just to prove a point.
Respiro del Diavolo isn’t made entirely of Carolina Reaper peppers, but it’s still incredibly hot. We’re talking 100 times hotter than a jalapeño and 500 times hotter than Tabasco sauce — hot. Speaking with the Evening Times, owner Martin Bandoni struggled to express the sensation of eating the ice cream. “They call the flavor a cream spice but it’s really a flavor sensation, it’s almost to trick your brain … I think everyone is different when they taste it because we hear various types of suggestions.” Meanwhile, his brother Lee didn’t have such a hard time coming up with an accurate description: “a thermal [sic] nuclear explosion in your mouth.”
It should be clear by now that this ice cream is not for the faint of heart. And Aldwych Cafe knows it. That’s why they make everyone who wants to try the stuff sign a waiver. That means you’ve got to be at least 18 years old to order it, and when you do, you free the ice cream parlor of any culpability in case of “personal injury, illness, and possible loss of life.” Yeah, they’re not playing around. In fact, if you check the Facebook page, you’ll see an additional recommendation: bring a friend, just in case you can’t make it home on your own afterward.