A café in Scotland is serving up scoops of the world’s hottest ice cream. Not ‘hot’ as in melted, but ‘hot’ like it’s got a whole load of chillies in it.

The ice cream is called “Respiro Del Diavolo” (Devil’s Breath) and you can get it at the Aldwych Café in Glasgow – so long as you sign a waiver and prove you are over 18 first.

They’re not messing about either – the disclaimer mentions that there “could be a risk of personal injury, illness & possible loss of life”. Why wouldn’t you want to eat it?


The ice cream is so potent that members of staff use protective gear to dish it up, and it measures 1,569,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) – the measurement used to judge the heat of chilli peppers.

To put the ice-cream’s hotness into perspective, a jalapeno pepper is about 1,000 SHU and standard Tabasco sauce is 2,500-5,000 SHU. That’s pretty damn hot.

“It started in Italy,” said Lee Bandoni, whose family runs the Aldwych Café. “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.”

The festival still takes place in the region every year, and this year when Martin visited family he brought back the idea for the Devil’s Breath ice cream.

This Icecream is 500 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. Credit: SWNS
This Icecream is 500 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. Credit: SWNS

According to Lee, the recipe of Respiro Del Diavolo is top secret with very few people knowing how to make it. However, he said that Martin’s children will eventually be sent to Italy to learn ‘when the time is right’.

The ice cream is the first of its kind in Scotland, and while Glaswegians famously love spicy food – Glasgow is the disputed birthplace of the chicken tikka masala – the family were worried it might even be too hot for them to handle.

“We had to check with the standards agency to explain what was in it and explain that it is like a thermal nuclear explosion in your mouth,” Lee said, not at all reassuringly.

“That took a bit of time to get it sorted but they were happy as long as we included a disclaimer. Our family in Italy see it as an honour to bring something like this here.”

The Worlds Hottest Icecream. Credit: SWNS
The Worlds Hottest Icecream. Credit: SWNS

The café’s staff wear gloves for protection when handling the ice cream as chili can seriously inflame the skin, particularly if it’s left for too long.

Despite the extra effort required, the Bandonis charge customers the same price for Respiro Del Diavolo as all of their other ice creams: £2 for a scoop in a tub and £1.90 for one in a cone. Sounds like a bargain to us.

“There’s no premium to be paid for it, just a standard price,” said the café’s owner Martin Bandoni. “We wouldn’t overcharge our customers.”

The exact taste of the ice cream is a moot point – probably because people are tripping like Homer Simpson when they eat it.

“They call the flavour a cream spice but it’s really a flavour sensation – it’s almost to trick your brain. Well, that’s the whole idea for it,” Martin said.

“I think everyone is different when they taste it because we hear various types of suggestions.”

Made of a powerful aphrodisiac and boasting a deep red colour, the Bandonis have brought in the chili ice cream just in time for couples to buy on Valentine’s Day.

Maybe a scoop or two will help get you in the mood – if you and your partner’s tongues haven’t been burnt off.

Additional reporting by Chris Ogden

Featured Image Credit: SWNS / Giphy