Dunkin’ Donuts’ Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut: a hateful donut

“Ghost pepper” is a phrase that should not be used lightly. When you claim that your foodstuff has ghost pepper in it, we expect some serious fucking heat levels. The ghost pepper is one of the spiciest chile peppers in the world, with a scoville scale that reaches into the millions. It’s tough stuff. 

But ghost pepper has become pretty vogue in the past years. America’s love of spicy food continues to grow, and only show-stoppers like the ghost pepper can stun us anymore. We’ve looked at plenty of ghost pepper foods in the past: the ghost pepper chips from Trader Joe’s, the ghost pepper wings from Popeyes, and the Dare Devil Grillers from Taco Bell. Some of these were surprisingly spicy, and some were major letdowns, but they were all savory. Dunkin’ Donuts is introducing, to our knowledge, the first sweet ghost pepper offering.

Introducing the “Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut”, a doughnut promising serious heat levels just in time for Spooky Scary Halloween. Can the Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut scare us with its heat? Hit the jump and find out.

The Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut is not really a unique doughnut. Unlike the (very excellent!) Apple Cider Donut, the Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut is a simple yeast doughnut glazed with a spicy strawberry glaze, and sprinkled with red sugar for crunch. This disappointed us when we learned it. We thought it was going to be a doughnut with spice baked into its very core! All it has is a spicy glaze. It’s a regular, boring doughnut. 

But we can’t let that stop us. It’s ghost pepper. This is the fucking bhut jolokia. One of the hottest peppers in the world, and probably the hottest that wasn’t specifically bred by some nutcase spiceheads trying to punish the world. This has to be worth it.

Reader, we were scared of trying this doughnut. It… well, we’re going to be really honest here, it really didn’t sound good. Eating a doughnut that offers little but an intense painful burn made us wary of trying it (especially because that’s a one-way street to Indigestion Hell) but we knew it had to happen. And would you believe us when we said that our local Dunkin’ Donuts was out of stock? We had to drive all the way to another city to get to another Dunkin’ Donuts*? 

*Paula: “Oh, how I miss the convenience of having a Dunkin’ on every street corner when I still lived in Massachusetts. My hometown literally had two Dunkin’ Donuts across the street from the other, I tell no lie. One was a standalone and the other was inside a gas station. They were both owned by the same guy.”

Once we got to our second location, the clerk in the drive-thru window chatted us up a little bit. She asked us if we had tried the doughnut yet, which we had not. She laughed, and described it as… “interesting.” This did more to scare us out of trying the doughnut than anything. When a fast food cashier has an opinion on the food you’re ordering, you listen to them. They have to live surrounded by that foodstuff for eight hours a day, The only other time this has happened was with the KFC Chicken & Donuts sandwich, and the cashier then liked it. That cashier was right – it was delicious, though incredibly messy and cloying – but the Dunkin’ Donuts cashier could only say this was interesting. She was telling us, in as many words as she could as an employee of Dunkin’ Donuts, that this doughnut was garbage.

We did not eat the donut right away. We took it home, leaving it in the car as we got groceries, and didn’t think of getting into it until well after dinner time. But time waits for no man. We had also gotten Apple Cider Donuts with it, and we wanted them so bad. It was time… to eat.

They were boring as fuck.

Seriously, wow, this is NOT spicy. It’s not spicy AT ALL. This was less hot than an Atomic Fireball. If you handed me this doughnut and didn’t tell me what it was, I thought for sure it would be Strawberry-Cinnamon, a flavor combination that actually sounds pretty good. This might as well have been a plain strawberry glazed. It didn’t even taste that much like strawberry. The sugar on top completely demolished all other flavor, on what was already a mostly-flavorless yeast doughnut.

1 out of 5 – Simply Shameful

This wasn’t even a swing and a miss. This was a dead simple gimme, a spicy doughnut, and it couldn’t even deliver on that front. You might as well eat a plain honey glazed doughnut, and you’d get almost the same experience. What went wrong here, Dunkin’? Did you have anybody taste the doughnut before it went out? Ghost pepper is a term you can’t use lightly, you know. This was a disappointment, plain and simple.

We suggest getting the Apple Cider Donut instead, it’s MUCH better.

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