Spicy reaper food is having a moment

Young consumers are gravitating toward spicy food as of late, as evidenced by the popularity of Flamin' Hot Cheetos and its appearance in unexpected dishes to the cultural cache of hot sauce. Recently, they're turning up the heat even more by embracing food with the world's hottest pepper: the Carolina Reaper.


Although ice cream is typically considered a cool, refreshing treat, one variety is known to make people's mouths feel like they're on fire. Aldwych Cafe and Ice Cream Parlor in Glasgow, Scotland dishes out the world's most dangerous ice cream. In fact, it's so hot that customers need to be over 18 and sign a waiver in case they experience shock or even injury. Dubbed Respiro Del Diavolo, which means breath of the Devil, the dessert is made with hot chillies, including the Carolina Reaper, making it 500 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.


Pickles have become the flavor of the moment in recent months, apparent in the rise of unexpected pickle-flavored food and beverages, from popsicles to beer to slushies. Pickles are also being introduced in new varieties, including Spicy Reaper. Texas-based company Mikey V's offers a dill version made with fresh habanero peppers, ghost peppers, garlic, dill, and of course, Carolina Reaper peppers. While the company sells an abundance of hot products, from habanero sauce to salsa, its Spicy Reaper Pickles are among its hottest offering—alongside the pepper in pure form—with the Carolina Reaper pepper averaging 1,641,000 Scoville Heat Units.


When Taco Bell unveiled Nacho Fries earlier this year, they became the most successful launch in the chain's history. Now it's expanding upon the fan favorite dish by making it spicier in the form of Reaper Ranch Fries. Through mid-September, brave customers at Taco Bell locations in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio can try Nacho Fries that have been covered in a sauce made of Carolina Reaper peppers and ranch dressing, as well as sour cream to help combat the heat. Based on the popularity of the regular version and consumer interest in extremely spicy food, it's a likely bet that Reaper Ranch Fries will become available nationwide.