Region Five or the Bicol Region is the Chili capital of the Philippines. So it was no surprise that even desserts are flavored with the spiciest of chilis, Siling Labuyo. Also known as Bird's Eye chili and Mouse Dropping chili, this small capsicum species registers 50,000-100,000 scoville units, the measure of spiciness. It was unseated as the hottest chili pepper by the Habañero and the Naga which measure around 200,000 scoville units. But since this chili is widely available in the country, it is a popular spice in many dishes.
At the 1st Colonial Grill in Naga, I was intrigued when I saw that the dessert listing included Sili Ice cream. Though they also offered other interesting flavors like Pili and Malunggay, it was this red hot flavor ice cream that I ordered.
I was expecting a dramatic red concoction specked with bits of chili but was instead served delightfully pink dessert that reminds one of sweet cotton candy.
But it takes only one teaspoonful of this dessert to remind you that this friendly looking ice cream is, in fact, made of chili. The tongue is initially greeted by cold and then the fire slowly spreads as the cream melts in your mouth. Fire in the hole! It takes a while to recover from the heat, that the deceptively rosy concoction is a form of fiery sensory torture. Some people may like the experience but for me, one teaspoon was enough.