Scotland isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of spicy food, is it? Well, prepare to have your mind expanded because Glasgow’s Aldwych Cafe and Ice Cream Parlor is serving up a spicy dish in honor of Valentine’s Day. And nope, it’s not a hot sauce — it’s an ice cream infused with Carolina Reaper peppers!
The restaurant’s Respiro De Diavolo ice cream is so spicy that anyone who wants to try it must be over age 18 and sign a waiver that warns consuming the bright red frozen treat “could be a risk of personal injury, illness and possible loss of life.”
True to the warning, the ice cream is estimated to be about 500 times spicier than Tabasco sauce, according to the New York Post. It measures at 1,569,300 SHU on the Scoville scale, which is used to measure chili peppers and hot sauces. (The hottest pepper ever is measured at 3.18 million Scoville units.) Not surprisingly, employees are required to wear gloves while handling this ice cream.
Deriving from a decades-old Italian recipe, Respiro de Diavolo, which translates to “breath of the devil,” is made from scratch every day with fresh ingredients, including a few imported directly from Italy. Lee Bandoni, the brother of café owner, told the Post about the history of the recipe:
“It started in Italy. There was a place called Devil’s Bridge and with that, the Italian ice cream families used to meet up once a year and discuss how the year went for them. At that point, if there were any men that showed bravery then they would eat this ice cream. So, because of the Devil’s Bridge, they called this the Breath of the Devil.”
So, what’s it like to eat? A reporter for Glasgow Live sampled the spicy treat and said he “faced a tsunami of pain almost instantly.” Although he tried to counteract the spiciness with a glass of water and some chocolate, he “was only able to take a couple of bites before admitting defeat.” Still curious to try this spicy ice cream, though? It will cost £2, or about $2.83 for a scoop in a cup, and a cone is £1.90, or $2.69.
Martin Bandolini, the owner, said he is excited to bring the food, with its special Italian flavor, to Scotland for Valentine’s Day and hopes it will serve as an aphrodisiac for visitors. He told the Post:
“A lot of Italian guys go and have a romantic evening with their girlfriends or wives and they will have some this ice cream because it is a well-known fact that chili is an aphrodisiac and it is nice with a glass of wine bubbling in your mouth. So we will sell it here until just after Valentine’s Day, people should come try it.”
The Bandoni family plans to keep the recipe top secret, although there’s no word if they’ll bring it back for next year’s Valentine’s season.
Would you be willing to try this ice cream?