Deliver us from evil, oh mighty Spicy Yakuyoke Whopper!

Hamburgers are wonderful things, with the power to make us both happy and full. But what if there was a burger that could not only safeguard you against hunger and sadness, but one that could protect you from evil as well?

That was the question Burger King Japan asked, and the answer it came up with is the Spicy Yakuyoke Whopper.

Before we dig in, let’s fully digest the name. Yaku is the Japanese word for evil or negative energy, and yoke means to cast or ward off. Japanese temples even offer yakuyoke rituals, which are particularly popular during the New Year’s season.

Fire is thought of as a cleansing element in Japanese culture, and so it’s often employed in yakuyoke services. While the Spicy Yakuyoke Whopper isn’t served literally on fire, its patty is flame-grilled, and Burger King cranks up the figurative heat by slathering it with what it says is the spiciest sauce it’s ever created (yes, even spicier than the “Angry Sauce” from its crazy red burgers).

Removing the lucky daruma wishing doll-style wrapper and taking off the top bun revealed lettuce, sliced tomato and onion, pickles, and melted cheese…and also the ominous sauce seasoned with Kyoto spice merchant Gion Ajiko’s Nihon Ichi Karai Ogon Ichimi, or “Japan’s Spiciest Golden Pepper Powder.” Finishing off the ingredients list were bright red spice-treated garlic slices.

With that, it was time to fight evil, and taking a bite brought instantaneous heat. There’s no slow buildup here, as the spice comes on with full force right away, and by the time we’d swallowed our first mouthful our tongue and lips were pleasantly and thoroughly tingling.

The sauce also has some sweet notes to it, reminding us of the condiments you get with yakiniku, and there’s no missing the powerful punch the garlic adds. Mix in some smokiness from the flame-cooked beef, and the Spicy Yakuyoke Whopper is a burger like no other. The flavor in undeniably intense, but also filled with interesting complexity instead of just trying to overpower you with a single sensation. With so much stimulation of the heart and mind, you just might momentarily forget about any bad things in life, including any anger, envy, or resentment that may have occupied part of your heart prior to eating the Spicy Yakuyoke Whopper.

However, while Burger King’s new burger can remove foul elements from your spirit, it’ll probably also add a few to your breath. Sure, cheese, garlic, and smoky beef juices may all taste great, but they don’t exactly smell great. Thankfully, Burger King includes a pack of Yakuyoke Mints with the sandwich, so you can purify your breath once your meal is over.

The Spicy Yakuyoke Whopper is priced at 780 yen (US$7.50), or 1,080 yen in a fry/drink set, and will be available until January 28.

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