Ice-cream and hotness are two things that you do not normally hear in the same sentence together. However, when you are talking about Respiro del Diavolo (Devil’s Breath), you have to use the two together. The ice-cream is made up of hot chillies and scores 1.5 million units on the Scoville scale of hotness. This makes it the hottest ice-cream in the world.
Respiro del Diavolo was brought to Glasgow, 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 was only used to test the bravery at annual gatherings among the masters of the trade but Bandoni was of the belief that it could be a huge hit commercially, so he put it on the menu.
He was proved right as people from all over the UK visit to try the fiery ice-cream. “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.”
You must be thinking that it is ice-cream and how hot it could actually be. It is rated at 1,569,300 SHU on the Scoville scale. To give you an idea of what that means, the Carolina Reaper Pepper which was the hottest pepper in the world until recently is rated between 1.4 and 2.2 million units. The ice-cream is hot enough for Bandoni to request that the customers be above 18 and sign a waiver before trying the fiery 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.”
The ice-cream will be available at Aldwych Cafe and Ice Cream Parlour through Valentine’s Day and if the feedback is good, it might become a permanent fixture on the menu. Would you be willing to try out the fiery ice-cream?