Hong Kong offers TEAR GAS flavoured ice cream made with pepper that irritates the throat just like riot-control weapons
- The flavour uses black pepper to recreate the throat-irritating effects of tear gas
- The new ice cream is in support of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong
- Last year, more than 16,000 rounds of tear gas were fired during protests
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
A Hong Kong shop is selling ‘tear gas’ flavoured ice cream made with pepper to irritate the throat in the same way that the riot-control weapons do.
The new flavour has been created in support of the pro-democracy movement, which is trying to regain momentum during the coronavirus pandemic.
After trying many different ingredients, including wasabi and mustard, the shop owner said black peppercorns came closest to tear gas with its throat-irritating effects.
A Hong Kong shop is selling ‘tear gas’ flavoured ice cream made with pepper to irritate the throat in the same way that the riot-control weapons do
‘It feels difficult to breathe’: The flavour is a reminder of the pungent, peppery rounds fired by police on the streets during months of demonstrations last year
‘It tastes like tear gas. It feels difficult to breathe at first, and it’s really pungent and irritating. It makes me want to drink a lot of water immediately,’ said customer Anita Wong, who experienced tear gas at a protest. ‘I think it’s a flashback that reminds me of how painful I felt in the movement, and that I shouldn’t forget.’
The flavour serves a reminder of the pungent, peppery rounds fired by police on the streets of the semi-autonomous Chinese city during months of demonstrations last year.
‘We would like to make a flavor that reminds people that they still have to persist in the protest movement and don’t lose their passion,’ the 31-year-old shop owner said.
He spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid repercussions from the pro-Beijing government.
After trying many different ingredients, including wasabi and mustard, the shop owner said black peppercorns came closest to tear gas with its throat-irritating effects
At about $5 a serving, tear gas ice cream has been a hit. Prior to social distancing regulations over the coronavirus outbreak, the shop’s owner said he was selling 20-30 scoops per day
He said: ‘We roast and then grind whole black peppercorns and make them into gelato, the Italian style. It’s a bit hot, but we emphasise its aftertaste, which is a sensation of irritation in the throat. It just feels like breathing in tear gas.’
More than 16,000 rounds of tear gas were fired during the protests, according to Hong Kong authorities, many in densely populated districts where narrow streets are filled with small restaurants and apartment blocks.
The protests began over proposed legislation that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China to face charges.
While the bills were withdrawn, demonstrations continued over concerns Beijing is eroding the civil liberties granted to the former British colony when it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
The ice cream shop also provides a space for people to express their views about the movement, including the use of sticky notes that featured in the ‘Lennon walls’ that appeared throughout the territory at the height of the demonstrations.
More than 16,000 rounds of tear gas were fired during the protests, according to Hong Kong authorities. Pictured, protesters in June 2019 react after police fire tear gas in demonstrations
Demonstrations have mostly died away amid coronavirus. Pictured, a protester reacts as tear gas is fired during a protest in the Jordan district in Hong Kong, in December 2019
Such expressions date back to the 2014 Occupy Central protests, when a major stairway leading to the Hong Kong government headquarters was plastered with thousands of notes carrying messages of support.
At about $5 (£4.10) a serving, tear gas ice cream has been a hit.
Prior to social distancing regulations over the coronavirus outbreak, the shop’s owner said he was selling 20-30 scoops per day.
The demonstrations have mostly died away as the city fights the coronavirus, but there are widespread expectations that larger actions may emerge during the summer.
Already, police have been out in force to deter large gatherings and the government is pressing ahead with legislation that would make it a crime to mock the Chinese national anthem.