We test our luck with a new nine-person party snack that threatens to shoot our taste buds with wasabi.

Walking into a Japanese convenience store always feels like taking a step into a world of delicious wonders, and perhaps no section is more wonderful than the bread aisle. Not content with just plain sandwich bread, Japanese convenience stores are stocked with tasty temptations like curry bread, sweet bean bread, and more.

But on our most recent trip to our local Family Mart, we spotted something we’d never seen before: Russian Roulette Bread.

At 398 yen (US$3.55) a pack, it’s a little more expensive than most convenience store bread options, which generally tend to hover somewhere around the 200-yen mark. It’s also quite a bit more substantial, though, consisting of nine interconnected pieces, sort of like a pack of King’s Hawaiian Rolls.

The Russian Roulette Bread’s soft, inviting appearance is the opposite of its intimidating name, but the fear comes from what’s inside. Four of the eight sections contain a chocolate filling, and another four are filled with rich custard cream. But it’s number nine you’ll have to watch out for. Thankfully, it’s not filled with anything lethal, but it is stuffed with a spicy wasabi tartar sauce.

The location of the wasabi roll is randomized for each pack, and even after your tear the eight buns apart, you can’t see inside. So, in essence, the Russian Roulette Bread is an edible batsu game, as Japan calls party games that are designed not to reward the winner, but punish the loser.

Speaking of potential losers, we just so happened to have nine hungry reporters in the office this day, and so we lured everyone into the office’s dining area with the offer of free snacks.

Granted, one of these free snacks was filled with wasabi, but as every member of this brave group of nine selected a roll, he was sure in his heart that surely he himself had built up enough good karma that he wouldn’t get stuck with the fiery bullet…or at lest took solace in the pure math of the situation which offered an 89-percent chance of getting a perfectly normal chocolate or custard bun.

All together, our reporters took a bite…

…and as they bit through the bread and reached the filling inside…

…fortune frowned upon…

…Harada, from the Japanese editing department.

Tearing open the rest of his morsel, Harada confirmed that there was a spicy wasabi tartar mixture inside.

Oddly enough, though, it wasn’t as painfully spicy as the Russian Roulette Bread’s deadly sounding name had us initially imagining. “It’s really spicy if you take a big bite,” said Harada, “but if you take small ones, it’s actually pretty tasty.”

It seems like Family Mart’s chefs decided to have some mercy, and rather than killing your mouth with spiciness, they instead opting for a filling that, while undeniably hot, gets more of a fiery boost from the pre-tasting tension and the fear-inducing effect of your brain suddenly realizing you’re not tasting the sweetness of one of the chocolate or custard buns, and that the wasabi flavor is on its way in milliseconds. The Russian Roulette Bread is, after all, being promoted as a dessert to share at Halloween parties, and it might put a bit of a damper on the fun if one person ha their taste buds crippled for the night by drawing the “losing” piece of bread.

Still, should Family Mart decide to release an extra-spicy version of the Russian Roulette Bread, we’ll be ready to try it too, though Harada might opt out of that assignment.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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