Japan’s New KFC-Flavor Potato Chips Bring Unexpected Twists in Taste

by Nick

Japanese snack giant Calbee recently unveiled a new line of potato chips flavored after Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). This collaboration marks nearly a decade since KFC Japan and Calbee last teamed up, generating considerable excitement among snack aficionados, including our team at SoraNews24.

For the taste test, our KFC enthusiast and Japanese-language reporter Ahiruneko was the natural choice. Known for his unwavering passion for KFC (he once immersed himself in a bath filled with KFC chicken bones), Ahiruneko wasted no time in sampling the new chips as soon as they hit the shelves on July 8.


Calbee’s KFC chips come in two flavors: KFC Original Chicken Flavor, which aims to replicate the iconic taste of KFC’s Colonel’s Original Recipe, and KFC Red Hot Chicken Flavor. Given Ahiruneko’s self-proclaimed allegiance to the KFC Original Recipe, he opted for the former for his taste and smell assessment.


Despite Ahiruneko’s finely tuned KFC olfactory senses, honed through years of dedication, the initial whiff from the bag surprised him with spicy undertones not typically found in KFC’s standard chicken offerings. Upon tasting, the chips exhibited a hint of spiciness that, while not overpowering, was noticeably more pronounced than KFC’s traditional recipe.


Ahiruneko admitted that while the chips were enjoyable and would pair excellently with a cold beer, they didn’t quite capture the essence of KFC chicken as he expected, despite KFC Japan’s supervision in their creation. However, he did find them reminiscent of another iconic figure in the Japanese chicken scene—not Colonel Sanders, but Shigeo Yamamoto, founder of the popular Nagoya-based chicken wing restaurant chain Sekai no Yama-chan.


To Ahiruneko’s palate, the chips’ blend of soy and spice flavors closely mirrored the taste experience of Sekai no Yama-chan’s chicken wings. Once this connection was made, Ahiruneko found it difficult to think of them in any other context. In fact, he mused that if presented as “Sekai no Yama-chan chicken wing-flavor potato chips,” he would have believed it without hesitation, praising their faithful replication of the beloved dish.

In conclusion, while Calbee’s KFC Original Chicken Flavor chips may not precisely mimic KFC’s famed recipe, they stand out as flavorful snacks that appeal to chicken enthusiasts seeking a unique twist. Ahiruneko wholeheartedly recommends them, albeit for reasons that deviate from his initial expectations.

This latest venture by Calbee and KFC Japan underscores the dynamic nature of culinary collaborations in Japan’s competitive snack market, offering consumers exciting new tastes that blend tradition with innovation.


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