As the UK basks in sunshine and the temperature continues to rise, you might find yourself craving ice cream to cool off.
Most people might head to their nearest ice cream van and buy a Mr Whippy, or grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s from the supermarket.
You probably wouldn’t go seeking something spicy, but today that’s exactly what I’m doing – and it’s all thanks to TikTok.
A new food trend has taken off on the video-sharing app, involving McDonald’s ice cream topped with chilli oil.
The craze appears to have started in China, where the unusual dessert was briefly sold and has since been picked up in a viral video by Ryan Paturzo, an Australia-based food lover and producer on Buzzfeed’s Tasty series.
In his clip Ryan explains: “First order a plain Sundae, then you’re going to top it with chilli oil.
“The blend creates a salty and sweet creamy flavour with crunchy texture.”
He goes on to add that even though it seems weird, viewers should trust him as the dessert will take your tastebuds on “a wild adventure”.
And he’s not wrong… well, not completely anyway.
Having tried the controversial dessert, I agree it’s certainly “wild”, but it’s not something I think I’d ever want to eat again.
I used Uber Eats to order some ice cream from my nearest McDonald’s (they didn’t offer sundaes, so a plain McFlurry it was) and raided the kitchen cupboards to find a jar of Chiu Chow Chilli Oil by Lee Kum Kee.
The ice cream was topped with a good teaspoon of the oil, making sure to get all the bits for that nice “crunch” Ryan mentioned in his video.
The initial mouthful was interesting. It’s an explosion of flavour that really does hit your tastebuds hard, starting off as slightly sweet before being quickly overpowered by strong, salty heat.
I had naively hoped the combination of ingredients would cancel each other out, so it wouldn’t be terribly hot, but a few spoonfuls in, my lips and the back of my throat were burning.
I found myself desperately hunting around the pot attempting to find a bit of ice cream the oil hadn’t reached.
It wasn’t pleasant.
But if you barely bat an eyelid at the hottest of peppers, then you’ll likely fare far better than me with this and – dare I say it – might even find it enjoyable.
So, would you try the McDonald’s chilli oil sundae?
TikTok users seemed pretty divided over the ice cream hack as well, with many thinking it was “so wrong”.
Responding to Ryan’s video, one person said: “I think I’ll pass on this one.”
Another wrote: “I love you, but no.”
A third asked: “Okay but why would anyone want this.”
“That’s not ok,” added a fourth.
However, others were keen to give it a go with some saying it looked “nice”.
Someone else proclaimed: “This looks so wrong!!! But I want it right now!!!”
While a different user commented: “This looks nice, different, unusual…”