A triple helping of dark ingredients creates fried chicken unlike any we’ve ever seen on Earth.

We don’t want to alarm anyone, but we discovered a black hole in Tokyo during our lunch break. Actually we discovered three of them.

Right across the street from SoraNews24 headquarters in Shinjuku is a branch of convenience store Lawson, which is where we source a pretty sizable portion of our diet from. We sauntered in shortly after noon to pick up a pack of Karaage-kun, Lawson’s eternally popular brand of bite-sized fried chicken, but found, to our shock, a brand-new Karaage-kun flavor: black hole.

Granted, Karaage-kun has been offered in some pretty unique flavors over the years, such as Dragon Quest Heal Magic. This was the first time we’d ever seen a cosmic phenomenon billed as a seasoning, though, so we handed 216 yen (US$1.90) over to the clerk and carefully carried our snack back to the office, worried that at any moment all the light of the Tokyo afternoon would be sucked into package.

Speaking of the package, it features the Karaage-kun mascot character dressed in an astronaut’s uniform with the starry sky behind and the main characters of Space Brothers off to one side, since the Black Hole fried chicken is a cross-promotion with the popular anime/manga franchise about two siblings who dream of becoming astronauts.

While no one’s ever seen the inside of a black hole, we figure it’d look a lot like what we saw when we opened the package’s lid: a deep, intimidating darkness.

Usually when pitch-black food appears in Japan, the key ingredient is bamboo charcoal (as in the country’s black hamburgers) or squid ink (like in the black Cup Noodles). Black Hole Karaage-kun, though, earns its name by using both, plus black pepper, to achieve its startling looks.

As a matter of fact, Black Hole Karaage-kun is so dark that it doesn’t really look like meat. Maybe it was the space theme influencing our thought, but as we skewered one with the toothpick that all Karaage-kun comes with, it looked a little bit like a meteorite that had come to us from a far-off corner of the galaxy.

So how does it taste?

Really good, actually. Despite not really looking like food, Black Hole Karaage-kun is something we’d gladly eat again, as it delivers a more intense flavor than the already-tasty standard Karaage-kun.

But tough we’d be willing to munch on Lawson’s black fried chicken on a regular basis, that’s not going to be an option, since the Black Hole Karaage-kun is a limited availability deal. While there’s no set time limit, the Black Hole Karaage-kun, which went on sale December 5, is limited to a quantity of 2.1 million orders for the entire chain. While that might make them seem as plentiful as stars in the sky, a limit is a limit, so act quickly if you’d like to taste the delicious darkness.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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