CHINA – Grilled Ice Cubes, the trend of mixing cold stones with spices and chili powder, grilling them over red hot charcoal and eating them as a snack is taking China by storm.

Chili powder grilled stone is the latest street food craze in China, gaining popularity and spreading quickly on social media through a 9-second video showcasing its preparation at a street stall in Nanxiong, Jiangxi province.

In the video, the chef places the cold stones on a metal grill, underneath which lies red hot charcoal. He then sprinkles white salt, butter, chili powder and flips the stones before serving them on a plate. This dish is said to provide relief from the scorching summer heat as the stones still retain some of their chilliness due to the spices not completely melting.

The idea of grilling stones came to the owner on a hot day. Initially, it was just a playful experiment but it received an overwhelming response. As a result, the owner continued grilling cold stones. The dish is offered for free and has attracted many locals and tourists who want to try it out.

Previously, China also caused a stir among international tourists with its chili-fried river snails or soudiu. This dish originated from Hubei province in eastern China. The chef uses small river snails that are washed and drained before being fried in hot oil with garlic, chopped chili and sauce. According to CNN, this may be the toughest dish in the world, literally.

Soudiu has become a viral sensation online, but it’s not a new dish. It has been around for hundreds of years. In the past, boatmen would sometimes get stranded in the middle of a river and run out of food while delivering goods. Therefore, they would collect stones from the riverbed and cook them with various spices to create a meal. The boatmen jokingly called this dish “finding happiness in bitterness” (due to its spicy taste).