Japanese convenience stores typically stock an amazing and frequently changing variety of potato chips.

Whether it's gourmet flavors like butter and scallops or grilled wagyu with sea urchin, pungent flavors like garlic or natto (fermented soybeans), or even sweet flavors like blueberry and strawberry shortcake, there's something for everyone.

The last thing we expected to find was a chip that looked like it had been dropped into the ash pan of a barbecue grill.

As it turned out, this was one of a pair of chips based on a devil and angel theme. As you can imagine, this black one was the devil of the pair.

Perhaps inspired by the idea of the Angel and Devil on your shoulder, the personifications of the good and evil sides of your conscience, the chips are called 天使的ハニーバター味 (tenshi teki hanī batā aji | "Angelic honey butter flavor") and 悪魔的黒チーズ味 (akuma teki kuro chīzu aji | "Devilish black cheese flavor").

Will you be tempted by the devil and enjoy the sinful flavor of rich cheese spiked with just the right amount of chili pepper or will you be soothed by the angel and let the flavor of honey and butter serenade your tastebuds?

Photo by grape Japan

Made by Yamayoshi Co., Ltd., who aren't afraid to take an unconventional approach to snack concepts, the two packages reflect their respective angelic and devilish themes, one with angel wings and golden laurels on a yellow and gold background, and the other with devil horns, bat wings and spades like the ones sometimes depicted at the tip of a devil's tail on a black and red background.

Photo by grape Japan

Taste test

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Time to put our tastebuds to the test...

The Angelic honey butter flavor chips were golden yellow, with little specs of parsley, while the Devilish black cheese flavor chips were indeed surprisingly black, dusted with black powder all over the surface.

Photo by grape Japan

At first, we were apprehensive about the notion of eating a sweet potato chip. We had tried some sweet flavors before, but they had never been particularly satisfying. However, this time, the flavors seemed to work well. we appreciated the sweetness of honey and what tasted like a hint of cheese mixed in with the butter. The honey wasn't cloyingly sweet, which was crucial for a balanced blend of flavors. These chips were the first to disappear down our gullet.

The black cheese chips, however, let us down just a bit. Perhaps this was the devil playing tricks on us. Since the description on the package said it was "spicy," our tastebuds were primed for some major pain like a devil's pitchfork through our throat. Instead, we got a very mild spice. Perhaps it was appropriate. After all, a pint-sized devil small enough to rest on a shoulder only carries a tiny pitchfork. Just a small prick on the tongue. Where they disappointed us in spice, however, these chips delivered in the cheese department.

It was a good chip, with a bold appearance and decent taste, but we couldn't help but think back to our first chip...

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...Looks like the angel (天使) was waiting for us all along...

Photo by grape Japan

The Devilish black cheese chips surprised us in more ways than one, but in the end, the Angelic honey butter chips won us over. They were definitely our favorite of the pair.

But who knows, maybe the argument between your shoulder angel and devil will play out differently when you try them. There's only one way to find out. Head for your nearest convenience store in Japan...

By - grape Japan editorial staff.