Gather round, all you guys and ghouls, for a spooky story about what may be the most frightening and, frankly, disgusting-sounding “dessert” of all time. Starting Friday (October 5), West Coast–based ice cream chain Salt & Straw will be offering five new Halloween-themed flavors, including — sorry in advance — “Dracula’s Blood Pudding,” made with actual blood, which is totally OK and delicious and normal, and definitely won’t make you want to hide under a rock until November.
Before you completely write it off, though, you should know that the frozen treat is made not with human blood, but with pig’s blood, which may or may not make it slightly more appetizing. Kat Whitehead, Salt & Straw’s head of research and development, told the Today show that “Dracula’s Blood Pudding” was inspired by sanguinaccio dolce (or sweet blood sausage), a classic Southern Italian dish made with pig blood, sugar, chocolate, and milk. For Salt & Straw’s take on the dish, the blood is mixed with cinnamon, cilantro, cubeb pepper, and brandy to create a warm, salty dessert.
“When you taste our Dracula’s Blood Pudding flavor, the idea is not for the blood to be in your face — when I eat the flavor, I get spiced chocolate to start, but as the ice cream melts, you can start picking up on the presence of the pig’s blood,” Whitehead said. “There’s a distinct salinity and minerality. Our goal was to make the pig’s blood a present component, but in a way where the other ingredients round it out.” Sold yet?
Unfortunately for the squeamish, the rest of Salt & Straw’s Halloween-time offerings are equally . . . creative. Besides that bloody good Dracula-themed variety, there’s also “Creepy Crawly Critters,” a matcha ice cream that is, of course, topped with literal dark-chocolate-covered crickets and coconut toffee brittle mealworms. If, for some reason, you’re really not into eating ice cream made from animal parts, though, you can opt for “Mummy’s Pumpkin Spiced Potion,” a vegan option featuring pumpkin Psychocandy tea steeped in coconut ice cream, with candied pumpkin bits mixed in; or “The Great Candycopia,” aka butterscotch ice cream loaded with homemade versions of Snickers, Twix, Heath bars, and peanut butter cups. Last but not least is “Essence of Ghost,” which, strangely enough, isn’t a cone filled with ectoplasma. Instead, per Today, it’s a “ghoulish gray sherbet” swirled with black cocoa ice cream, boasting a bittersweet and slightly smoky flavor.
Beginning Friday, the spooktacular new flavors will be available IRL in select Salt & Straw scoop shops, and in shippable pints in the company’s online store.