We taste-test a revolution in potato chips, and realize that something important has been missing all along.

Here at SoraNews24, we believe in striking while the iron is hot. We also believe in eating the potato chips while they’re hot, at least since Japanese snack maker Calbee announced its new line of microwavable potato chips.

We couldn’t imagine any way potato chips would taste worse warm, and since the Renji de Poterich Rich chips are exclusively sold at Family Mart convenience stores and available in limited quantities, we rushed out to pick up a bag (for 152 yen [US$1.40]) as soon as we could.

While the idea of microwavable chips might sound simple, Calbee actually spent more than two years experimenting with different types of packaging and flavors. The Renji de chips come in a special bag with a perforated edge where you’re supposed to make a small tear before heating it in the microwave, allowing hot air to escape so that the bag doesn’t burst.

Once we had that done, we popped the bag into the microwave to heat for 40 seconds.

▼ Rest assured that finding out whoever’s responsible for leaving the microwave such a mess, and bringing them to justice, is currently a top-priority project.

Once the timer went ding, we pulled open the door, and immediately the delicious scent of butter flooded the room. The Renji de Poterich chips are seasoned with butter from Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, and the rich, creamy aroma that rises from them when they’re heated is amazingly mouthwatering.

So how do they taste? Rather than leave the taste-test duties up to a single member of our staff, we assembled a five-person panel…

…and they were unanimous: microwaved potato chips are absolutely amazing.

Calbee says its goal was to provide customers with the same satisfying experience its employees can enjoy at the factory, where they can munch on freshly cooked chips that just came off the production line. But while the Renji de Poterich chips taste great, and are enticingly warm (40 seconds of cooking time doesn’t make them so piping hot that you can’t dig in with gusto), we can’t get over how much the delicious smell adds to how your brain perceives the flavor. It’s such a huge improvement that it’s hard to believe we never realized how much we were missing out on with scentless room-temperature potato chips.

The potential for microwavable chips seems limitless, as we’re guessing it would enhance any other flavor as greatly as it did the butter soy sauce of Calbee’s first offering, and we’re definitely looking forward to next month when pizza-flavored chips join the Renji de lineup.

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