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The snack aisle of Japan’s convenience stores is a fiercely competitive marketplace, and just about every week sees the release of some new flavor of candy or potato chip trying to steal the spotlight from its rivals. But while many of these pretenders to the throne of snack foods are only on sale for a few months or even weeks, the spicy potato rings called Bokun Habanero have been on sale without hiatus for over a decade.

Still, you have to keep evolving in order to stay ahead, and next month will see the release of a new Bokun Habanero that’s 10 times hotter than the normal version.

With a name that combines the Japanese kanji character for “violence” and the name of the ultra-spicy habanero chili pepper, you’d be right in assuming Bokun Habanero didn’t earn its sizeable fan base because of its mildly refreshing sweetness, even though a chocolate covered version was briefly sold in 2009. No, Bokun Habanero’s claim to fame is its spiciness, and while limited editions have added pizza, Mexican, and Thai flavors into the mix, the crunchy corn rings always provide a piquant kick.

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It seems Tohato, the maker of Bokun Habanero, figures you can’t have too much of a good thing, and on May 12, the company will release an even more potent version of the popular snack, with a powder with 10 times the spiciness of the ordinary formula. It’s logical to assume that not everyone will be up for such a sudden ramping up of fieriness, though, so thankfully the extra-spicy powder will come in a separate packet, enabling customers to add as little or as much as they like.

Of course, all that extra spiciness won’t do any good if it all falls onto the floor, though, so the new version, dubbed Bokun Habanero – Habamori, features a serrated edge to catch as much of the condiment as you care to sprinkle on.

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Tohato is allowing retailers to set their own prices, and estimates are a bag will set you back about 150 yen (US $1.47). The company warns that due to the strength of the powder, customers should “take sufficient care not to get any in your eyes or nose.” Putting it in your stomach, surprising as it may be, is apparently perfectly fine.

Source: Narinari
Insert images: RakutenTohato