Cool for the summer: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos ice cream

lauren-west-ice-cream
Lauren West/Staff

This summer, I’ve decided to be a little more adventurous in my frozen treat choices. My first stop was to try something that might sound completely wild, but I can’t say it was all my idea.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds herself watching YouTube videos late at night when I could or should be doing other things (mainly studying) and sometimes finds herself watching videos she otherwise wouldn’t.

When I discovered Safiya Nygaard and Tyler Williams’ video channels, it was somewhat the same way. They were admittedly my saviors and sanity-keepers during the perils of dead week and finals, and I found myself going down the rabbit hole of makeup and style videos on Saf’s channel and recipes and how-to videos on Tyler’s channel. They’re both charismatic and charming (for Stanfurd grads). I found myself a little compelled to try a little more winged eyeliner and vampirish looks like Saf and being a little more punny like Tyler. One thing I definitely found myself doing was heading down to Fountain Valley, California, to try Drill’d Ice Cream Mixmasters — or more specifically, its oh-too-Instagrammable Flamin’ Hot Cheetos ice cream.

Safiya Nygaard’s enthusiasim as a fellow hot Cheeto lover made me, otherwise an admittedly picky eater, willing to try an ice cream flavor that wasn’t a “safe” flavor such as chocolate or coffee. Before I knew it, I was on my way to the little store that was home to this strange and miraculous treat.

Drill’d Ice Cream Mixmasters, aside from sounding like a weirdly adult ice cream parlor (a feature they’ve leaned into instead of away from with a large neon sign that reads, “I Just Got Drill’d”) offers soft serve ice cream that comes in, as you’d assume, a variety of unusual flavors. With the parlor’s more unusual flavors ranging from avocado topped with Frosted Flakes (aka Fresh Avo) to Lay’s potato chips with chocolate drizzle (aka Lay Over), Drill’d will make you a soft serve with a variety of cereals and chips that is blended with a large drill until it pours out in a completely palatable and pastel soft serve form.

If you’re feeling less adventurous, the parlor also offers more traditional dessert flavors such as Give Me S’More, Cocoa Joe and Cookies & Dream. Or you can make your own flavor out of any mixture of its ingredients and try out something new.

As exciting as all of Drill’d’s flavors were, and as dubious as my friends and brothers were as I dragged them to Drill’d that Tuesday night, I knew I had come for one flavor alone. “One Hot As Hell, please,” I ordered.

With the parlor’s pink walls and cacti pillows, I was eager to take a picture of my Cheeto-dusted treat.

My friends sat across from me with looks of growing trepidation as I sat, bowl in hand. Finally, I took my first bite.

At first, nothing.

It was slightly sweet and a little spicy. Maybe not what I’d consider delicious, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

“Huh,” I said out loud before promptly choking as the spice hit me.

And oh, did it hit me. Abruptly I found myself back to the age of 7, when I was first introduced to hot Cheetos by a girl on my block. I ate about a fistful before realizing my mistake. Little white girl me was pretty sure I was dying at the time.

“Do you like it?” my friend asked me with an evil smile on her face.

“Yes,” I lied. I was determined to enjoy it. I tried some more.

Good lord. That was a spicy dessert.

“Wow,” my brother said, taking a bite of his safe Shorty Cake flavor. “This was a good idea.”

I nodded, not trusting my throat to speak. “Yeah,” I said confidently. As someone who prided herself (in her adult life) on being able to handle her spice, I wasn’t ready to concede defeat.

After several strangely brain-freezing and tongue-inflaming bites, I might have had to admit to myself that maybe spicy dessert isn’t for me.

But don’t take my word for it! The next time you’re down in Orange County, head on over to Drill’d Ice Cream yourself and give your taste buds a run for their money — about $7.50-$8.50, to be precise.

Lauren West is the assistant blog editor. Contact Lauren West at [email protected].

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