Describing an ice-cream as hot might seem strange, but when talking about the Respiro del Diavolo (Devil’s Breath), it’s actually an understatement. Made using an assortment of hot chillies, the bizarre treat scores over 1.5 million units on the Scoville scale of hotness, making it the world’s most dangerous ice-cream.
Respiro del Diavolo was brought to Glascow, Scotland, by Martin Bandoni, owner of the Aldwych Cafe and Ice Cream Parlour, but he claims the recipe has been a closely-guarded secret among Italian gelato makers for centuries. It has been used as a test of bravery at yearly gatherings among masters of the trade, but Bandoni thought it could become a commercial hit as well, so he put it on the menu of his ice-cream parlour in Glasgow. So far, the response has been ‘crazy’, with people from all over the UK stopping by to try the fiery treat.
“It started in Italy,” Lee Bandoni, Martin’s brother, said. “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.”
“Every year it still happens over there and this year when Martin was away earlier in the month he brought back the idea that was passed down to him,” Lee added. “The recipe is very secret, very few of us know it and when the time is right Martin’s children will get to find out about it and they will go to Italy and learn the ins and outs of it.”
In case you’re wondering just how hot Respiro del Diavolo ice-cream actually is, it’s rated at a whopping 1,569,300 SHU on the Scoville scale. For reference, the Carolina Reaper Pepper, until recently the hottest pepper in the world, is rated between 1.4 million and 2.2 million units. That’s hot enough for Bandoni to request that customers be over 18 years old and sign a waver before trying the hot ice-cream.
“It’s very hot. If you like chillies you’ll like it but it’s a strange sensation because the ice cream is cold but the flavour is extremely spicy,” Martin Bandoni said. “Your mind plays tricks on you when you try it. The ingredients are sourced locally, but the special chillies are part of the secret recipe from Italy. We’re testing how people like it so there’s only a limited amount produced but we’ve had a lot of positive feedback.”
Respiro del Diavolo ice-cream will be available at Aldwych Cafe and Ice Cream Parlour through Valentine’s Day, and if the feedback remains positive, it may become a permanent fixture on the menu.
So yeah, flaming hot ice-cream is apparently a thing now.