With Halloween just around the corner, Baby Zito, a small batch ice cream shop in Minneapolis, went all out for the holidays by creating a Hannibal Lecter-themed treat. While the scoop shop is “basic flavors“are always complex and creative (think Vietnamese coffee with bourbon or Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles mixed in a delicious concoction), co-owner and pastry chef Ben Spangler knew they wanted to ‘turn it up’ and deliver something really spectacular this year.
Broad beans and a good Chianti
“We were so puzzled and we were watching Thesilenceofthelambs“Spangler told Mental Floss.” When Hannibal said that the line, ‘An enumerator once tried to test me. I ate his liver with broad beans and a good Chianti ‘, immediately my brain was like’ Oh, I know how to make a sweet and sour creamy mousse. ‘”
So Spangler and his wife / co-owner, designer Gabriella Grant, developed Hannibal’s Dinner: an ice cream made from pieces of braised veal brains, cookie dough-like foie gras, bean cake mix. lemony and a caramelized gastric Chianti drizzled over the top. “It’s a deep, deep red,” Spangler says of the stomach. “It looks like a slasher movie.” But what does it taste like?
“It’s really a trip in the mind to see how tasty it is,” says Spangler. “Even when I was eating it, I was like, ‘It’s good, but it really bothers me. “” He describes the foie gras mousse as buttery and smooth, and the brain pieces as salty.
“The thing that initially baffles people the most isn’t the brain,” Grant says. “It’s a little tastier profile than what people are used to. I always preface it by telling people it’s going to be a little tastier or else your brain has to recalculate for a second before you really understand what’s going on. happening … The ingredients themselves aren’t weird as separate products or in a more traditional application. But those things don’t seem to belong to ice cream. “
Despite the flavor being out of your comfort zone, customers order it. “When someone comes in, you know exactly who’s there for the brain,” Grant says. “They look super excited. There’s that extra puff in their chest, and they’re super confident.
Hannibal’s dinner isn’t the only adventurous flavor on offer at Bebe Zito. They also offer The Grasshopper, a chocolate coated cricket mixed with a mint ice cream base. They introduced the protein last year and customers loved it so much that it could become an offering all year round. Compared to Hannibal’s dinner, Grant says The Grasshopper “is quite tame and not really scary.”
Getting customers to try “foods that are eaten elsewhere in the world but that are considered strange and scary to the typical American palate or shocking” has been part of Spangler and Grant’s mission since Bebe Zito’s doors opened in July 2020. They have regularly featured what they consider “Gateway Flavors”, such as Mushroom Pecan and Vanilla MSG. The goal, according to Grant, is to get customers to think, “If Bebe does it, we’re going to be confident it won’t be bad. “
Other limited-time Halloween flavors from Bebe Zito include Children of the Corn Chip; The brilliant-themed redruM (filled with “bloody” raspberry sauce and served with an ax); and beetle juice (Reduction of Grape Nerds and Ecto Cooler). They are also doing a Squid game Dalgona’s Candy Challenge – minus the murder. “You get horror lovers on board, but you still want to appeal to your more general Halloween folks,” Grant says.
Hannibal lecter once said that “it’s important to try new things” when giving Ray Liotta’s brain pieces to a child. The taste makers behind Bebe Zito clearly agree.