If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you’ll know that on October 14th, Dunkin released its new ‘Spicy Ghost Pepper’ donut.

This donut is part of a new fad where fast-food chains release  spicy options of their popular items. Recently, McDonald’s also put out their new Spicy Chicken McNuggets  (Check out this article from Maddie Hiatt at Spoon HQ for more information), and Whataburger debuted a Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

For Dunkin’, this voyage into a sweet/spicy combination is also a ploy for the month of October, leaning heavily on the spookiness of the word ‘ghost’ in ‘ghost pepper’.

According to the Dunkin' Newsroom, the donut will be staying on the menu to spice things up until December.

I’ll admit, when the donut first popped up on my Instagram feed this morning, I was intrigued but also a little grossed out.

The yeast donut boasts a strawberry frosting exactly like the classic strawberry-frosted donut that Dunkin' has been serving up for years...however, it will also have hints of cayenne and ghost pepper in the frosting.

The thought of the flavor from the peppers and that of the frosting did not mix well in my head, and I was ambivalent about trying this odd combo.

I was also not thrilled at the prospect of trying a ghost pepper.

I consider myself to have a medium spice tolerance, so a part of myself assured my brain that the donut would not be too bad. But the thing is, the ghost pepper is amongst the world's top spiciest peppers. Was I really ready to put myself up for that?

I decided to go ahead anyway. 

Alice Li

At first glance, the donut seems pretty harmless. It’s your generic donut with frosting and sprinkles. Once you examine it more closely, you can see a sort of dark tinge to the frosting, making the typical bright pink strawberry frosting seem almost like a blush. And then you realize the sprinkles are an ominous red as if to warn you of what’s to come.

Obviously, I stuck it in my mouth.

And I was pleasantly surprised.

The heat that I had been so scared of did not come. In fact, the overwhelming flavor that I got at first was the strawberry of the frosting. (*If you are not a fan of the strawberry frosted, then this donut is definitely not for you.*)

However, then there was a wave of spice. It wasn’t throbbing pain or persistent in any way. It reminded me of sitting by a fire in the winter and having the warmth wash over you.

The taste also surprised me. The spice and the strawberry work in a strange way so that the resulting taste is not disgusting, but strangely satisfying--like fries in a milkshake. 

Overall, I’d say the donut is worth trying! During these cold fall days, it’s the perfect thing to warm you up.