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I tried Dunkin’s new ghost pepper donut and found that the sweet and spicy treat might not be enough to lure customers back in


Spicy donut Dunkin' ghost pepper

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I was more than a little nervous when I volunteered to taste test Dunkin’s new Halloween Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut.

Dunkin’ says the donut “packs a touch of heat with something sweet,” though with pink frosting and reddish sprinkles, it looks like any unassuming donut. If the flavor combination seems odd, it’s not too surprising. Spicy foods are hot right now — literally.

Last summer, fast food chains famously competed with dueling spicy chicken sandwiches. Popeyes went through an inventory meant to last several months in only two weeks, with some locations turning chaotic. Business Insider’s Kate Taylor dubbed it the Chicken Sandwich War of 2019. More recently, McDonald’s introduced spicy chicken McNuggets to compete with Wendy’s spicy chicken nuggets.

The recent popularity of McDonald’s Travis Scott meal showed that limited edition offerings can bring in customers, to the point where McDonald’s was running out of burgers. And right now, restaurants are doing everything they can to lure in the customers they lost in the beginning of the pandemic.

As a fan of spicy foods, although not necessarily in my desserts, I headed to Dunkin’ to see where this new donut fits into the world of spicy fast food.

SEE ALSO: The rise and fall of Ruby Tuesday, which just declared bankruptcy after struggling through the coronavirus pandemic

I recruited my younger sister along as a slightly unwilling taste-tester. Frankly, we were both scared of all the ways this donut could go wrong.

We parked outside the local Dunkin’ Donuts/Quicklee’s. She was worried that the donut would be too spicy, and I was worried they might not have any left by our mid-afternoon trip.

All the COVID-19 precautions stuck on the door only made it feel more ominous.

Though the donuts were behind a giant piece of plexiglass, I was happy to spot several ghost pepper donuts still in stock.

I asked the cashier if they were selling well. He told me that out of the eight they’d made that morning, two were sold before I got there, and two were tested out by employees.

He also told me that he didn’t find them very hot, but he thought they were “okay.”

Donuts in hand, we headed back to my apartment for the official taste test.

I protected the precious cargo on the short drive back.

I ordered three ghost pepper donuts, plus some more traditional flavors as palate cleansers, just in case.

Dogs probably shouldn’t eat spicy donuts, but mine was very interested.

Even close up, the donuts look pretty traditional: pink with red sprinkles. I could definitely see someone taking a bite without realizing what flavor it is.

To me, they look as appealing as any donut from Dunkin. The donut is just a regular plain donut, with strawberry frosting containing ghost pepper and cayenne pepper.

We were prepared with iced coffee and water, still cautious about the possible heat levels.

I decided to get it over with and try the donut first. I was surprised to find almost no heat in the first bite, which was mostly just …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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