A very dramatic sales pitch convinced Mr. Sato to make everyone in the office try them.

Rice crackers are a popular snack in Japan, akin to potato chips or wheat crackers in the U.S., and like their western counterparts, they also come in tons of shapes and flavor. For a basic rice cracker, there’s Kaki no Tani, flat rectangular snacks that you can buy at any grocery store, and which come in many flavors, even churrasco barbecue. Or you can go fancy and buy the now ridiculously popular cheesy rice crackers endorsed by a Japanese rock star, if you can find them.

Now there’s a new kind of rice cracker turning heads, however: Raging Fire Wasabi flavor. Mr. Sato happened to see them in a supermarket in Shinjuku, and they came with a shocking sales pitch that he just couldn’t ignore:

“If you are not prepared when you eat these, YOU WILL DIE. As soon as you eat them you will experience an excruciating, piercing pain in your nose. Then, for several minutes you will experience an intense, pulsing wasabi flavor. Once you’ve overcome those trials, you will be addicted and will want to eat more! We offer this item only to the fiercest of warriors who like spicy food!”

Mr. Sato is no stranger to spicy food, so he scoffed at the lofty claims posed by this advertisement. “How spicy could it be?” he thought to himself. “It can’t be that bad.”

But recently the science of spicy food has been advancing, and with the increasingly common use of extreme spices like Habanero and ghost peppers, it is best not to underestimate anything these days. Trembling slightly with both fear and excitement, Mr. Sato could not resist reaching out and putting a bag in his basket.

Unable to hold back, he brought it back to the office a quickly opened it up to take a closer look at the crackers. They didn’t look very spicy. They were the color of ordinary rice crackers, though they did have a mysterious, translucent, reddish sheen.

Still, he decided not to try them alone. Their spice wasn’t from any kind of pepper, so they probably wouldn’t be that bad, but just in case he called over the whole office and gave them each a piece. Altogether—or with an attempt at eating it altogether–they took a bite.

▼ Watch their reactions in the latest exciting episode of the high budget production, The SoraNews Staff Tries Snacks. (Also of note are Mr. Sato’s curiously squeaky shoes.)

The speed with which the wasabi spice penetrates to the very crown of the head is astounding. The smell and flavor of the wasabi just shoots up through the nose and empties out all of your sinuses in an instant. In short: it’s pretty spicy!

However, this all happened in an instant, and before you realize it, the spice is completely gone. There is no aftertaste, and the spiciness doesn’t sit on your tongue afterwards, like it would with hot peppers. On the contrary, the plain flavor of the cracker is actually refreshing, and makes you want to take another hit of the spicy wasabi right away.

▼  Still, half the office visibly cringes (while the other half has almost no reaction).

That sales pitch might have exaggerated a little bit; no one died, but it is true that the impact of that first burst of spice is nothing to sniff at (or a lot to sniff at if you have congested sinuses). It is definitely addictive, so if you like spicy food you might want to check these crackers out. You can buy them at the maker’s online store or in Japanese grocery stores for 1,680 yen (approximately US$15).

And if you like spicy food, make sure you check out Meg’s ranking of spicy tan tan noodle bowls, too!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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