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Hong Kong’s Tear Gas Dessert
News Bytes 05/18/2020 48 Comments

Anita Wong samples the new flavor at an ice cream shop in Hong Kong. It strikes a familiar chord for her. Not too long ago, Wong experienced tear gas at a protest. She and others were demonstrating for democracy against China’s creeping infringement upon the rights the former British territory had enjoyed for decades under British rule.

“It tastes like tear gas,” Wong says of the harshly peppery, creamy confection. “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.”

The shop created the flavor as a sign of support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Citizens in the semi-autonomous city spent months demonstrating for freedom last year. Several times, police sprayed the crowds with tear gas to deter them and to clear the streets.

The democracy movement is seeking to regain the momentum that it has lost during the coronavirus pandemic, the shop’s owner says. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears repercussions from the pro-China government.

The harsh, lingering flavor in the ice cream comes from black peppercorns. The anonymous owner tried different ingredients, including wasabi and mustard, in his efforts to replicate the taste of tear gas. Black pepper, he says, came closest with its throat-irritating effects. “It just feels like breathing in tear gas,” says the 31-year-old shopkeeper.

“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,” he adds.

Wong agrees. She tried the ice cream not to satisfy physical hunger or to enjoy a treat. She tried it to remember something she considers more important—even if it comes with a painful cost.

“I think it’s a flashback that reminds me of how painful I felt in the movement,” she says, recalling the gas. “I shouldn’t forget.”

Hong Kong authorities say that more than 16,000 rounds of the crowd-controlling gas were fired during last year’s protests. Many of those incidents occurred in densely populated districts with narrow streets crowded with restaurants and apartments.

Demonstrations mostly died away as the city fights the coronavirus, but larger actions may emerge during the summer. Already, police have been out in force to deter large gatherings. The government is meanwhile pressing ahead with legislation that would make it a crime to mock the Chinese national anthem.

(A shop worker scoops a serving of the tear gas-flavored ice cream in Hong Kong. The shop created the unlikely flavor using pepper, in memory of all the tear gas fired by the Hong Kong police in recent months. AP Photo)

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Most recent comments

I think that this is an

I think that this is an interesting and creative way for the people of Hong Kong to remember what they've been through . China's government is growing more and more oppressive to their people. Remember the article about China doing online classes? And remember how the teacher said that he wrote out scripts every night, because if he said something that the government didn't like, they'd end the class? I think that that really shows us how much we need to be concerned about China. They're obviously very concerned about what the teachers say. It really brings to light what we've known all along: China's brainwashing their citizens into communism! They want their students to grow up thinking that they have to rely on the government for everything! China is a threat. they want power over the world. I'm so glad that this movement is standing up for their rights. The rights they're fighting for are human rights, and they shouldn't have to fight for them.

Sorry, that was very long lol

Sorry, that was very long lol!

Wow, that's really

Wow, that's really interesting. I'd heard of strange ice cream flavors before, but definitely not tear gas! I actually think it's kind of cool. I just hope nobody gets in trouble for this, especially that ice cream shop owner.

@Lena P P.S. This is Caro

Yeah I agree Lena P

6th comment

When I first read the title, I was like "What! That is crazy! Tear gas?!?!" But after I read the article and saw they used black pepper (pretty smart!) it made sense. I agree with Bella C and Lena P. Pretty interesting and I hope no one gets in trouble. I read the article about the Chinese Schooling system thingy and that is one good reason why we don't want the USA to go to communism. Then the government controls everyone, and especially kids, because they can teach whatever they want to in schools, and get it drilled into their heads. No offence to anyone.


Tear-gas ice cream sounds disgusting! Very creative, though.


I agree even right now in the states we are getting a taste of what it would be like to live under government authority, not being able to leave our homes, a ton or restrictions / rules, and a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long quarantine! where i am they want to extent the quarantine to JUNE 18TH!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know about you guys but i'm soooooooo SICK AND TIRED OF THIS LOCK DOWN!!!!!

P.S. Sorry 4 ranting

@David F

You don't have to apologize if you aren't being offensive in any way. I think most of us agree with you that the quarantine is getting to long. Where I live quarantine will be until June 1st.

Weird flavor

Weird flavor

This is Sarah

Who would want to get that?

This is Sarah

In the math course I take it mentioned octopus ice cream and charcoal ice cream. I think there was also lettuce Ice cream.

P.S. What math curriculum do you use? I use Teaching Textbooks.

@ Sarah

I use Math Mammoth.

@ BethSarah G

I do AoPS (Art of Problem Solving) Prealgebra. I LOVE math!
Also this is my first comment EVER.

@ Sarah

Oh sorry I meant @Sarah

@BETH SARA G. I also do

@BETH SARA G. I also do teaching textbooks, yeah some of the word problems are really weird...

@ David F

You're not supposed to post links on here to websites outside of WORLDTeen.



Interesting Ice Cream

I'm not sure I would eat that Ice cream it sounds kind of weird and gross

@Sarah G: I know!! I have

@Sarah G: I know!! I have heard of octopus flavor too!!! Yuk, in my opinion!! For math, I use Right Start Mathematics. One of my friends uses Math U See.
@Kara N: Welcome to WORLDteen!!!! If you are new, that is!! lol! I hope you enjoy reading the articles and posting comments!!
@David F: IKR!! We haven't actually been put into quarantine, but we pretty much stay home. I will be praying for all of y'all that are in quarantine! Our governor has started letting up, but everyone is still being careful. We have some land, though, so we can be outside, doing stuff, etc. NOT TO BRAG TO ANYONE!!!!!!!!!!! I was just saying!!!!!!

@Riley D

Thanks! I've been on here for a few weeks, but I finally am able to post comments!


I use Saxon Math.

@Sarah (Bethsarah) This is Caro

I use Math-U-See


THat's gross!!
I use Saxon Math.

0.9999...... = 1

So there's this random thing I learned today in math that I thought was super weird and interesting, for all my fellow math geeks (not to be rude!). Here it is: The infinite decimal 0.999999............(infinite 9's) is equal to 1. Completely equal--not just rounded or something. Maybe it's just me that thinks that's SUPER cool, but well I am a math geek. ;-)

@Kara N

Really!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? That is super weird! I guess I would have thought that you would round it to 1.

@NA and Cortney K

I use Saxon Math too!

Math again

Am I the only one on here who uses Art of Problem Solving?

@ Evelyn

Really? Wow! The books are soooooo thick!

@ Kara N

Wow. Is it like a resipacle or something?

to above

No, it's a decimal: 0.999999999..........(repeating into infinity). And it's exactly equal to 1


Here's some proof: You know how 1/3 = 0.33333333.....(infinitely) ? Well, if you multiply it by 3, you'd get 0.999.....
And obviously, multiplying 1/3 by 3 = 1. So they're equivalent. If this doesn't make sense, that's okay. I'm a math geek (and proud of it!) ;-)

@Kara N

Now that you put it like that, it makes sense!!! I glad you like math! It is ok for me, but I like science the best.

@Riley D

I love science too. I'm currently using Apologia Middle School General Science (3rd edition). What are using?


I mean, what are you using for science?

@Kara N

I use Apologia Science, too! I love it! I just finished Physical Science. I did General Science last year.


Yeah, cool! I think I'm doing that next year too!

@Kara N and Cortney K

I use Apologia Science too!!!!!! It is a really good Christian science. I just finished the Physical Science, 2nd edition. WE have the older edition, and we just pass along the books to the next person when we are finished, and not get the new edition each time. I will do high school Biology next year, and I think I will do it with a homeschool friend who is my age. My sister did it with his older sister.

that flavor sounds gross

that flavor sounds gross

i use apologia science too!

i'm currently in the physical science course.
as for math, i use one called Life of Fred. has anyone else heard of it? i really enjoy it (more than the other math books i used) i struggle a lot with math, and the author, Stanley F. Schmidt makes it sooo much easier to understand. i love it! i'm working on beginning algebra.


the life of fred series is about a 5 yr old boy named... you guessed it- fred. he is a math prof. at a university. the math series is basically about his life and you learn the math through his everyday experiences.

@ Lily S

I've heard of Life of Fred, but never used it

@Lily S

That sounds really interesting.

@Lily S

That sounds like a fun way to learn!

@Lily S & Sarah

@Sarah: I'm going to use Saxon math but right now I use Christian Light Education.
@Lily S: We have Life Of Fred and it's really fun.

super weird!! but cool

super weird!! but cool

That would not be something I

That would not be something I would eat! lol

@Sara @Caro

I use Math-U-See too!!!

That's so cool

It sounds sooo weird. And COOL.

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