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Black Thunder candy bars ride 'yaki-imo' renaissance trend with new 'imo-kenpi' offering

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By George Lloyd, grape Japan

For centuries, the winter months in Japan have been bound up with the enticing smell of freshly baked sweet potatoes. In recent years, a new generation has cottoned on to the wonderful flavor of yaki-imo 焼き芋.

Hoping to hitch a ride on the bandwagon, the nation’s food manufacturers have been racking their brains trying to come up with new ways to use the humble spud in their products.

The latest offering comes from confectionery makers Yuraku, who have just released a candy bar called Imokenpi Thunder. It is the latest addition to their Black Thunder range of sweets and combines the wonderful taste of sweet potato with chocolate.

Imokenpi 芋けんぴ are a much-loved children’s treat: strips of sweet potato, which are deep-fried and coated with sugar. At first bite, they’re crunchy, but as you chew them, the gentle sweetness of the sweet potato permeates through your mouth. It’s a crunchy snack with a lingering smoothness and has been enjoyed in the winter months by generations of Japanese children.

The makers of Imokenpi Thunder have combined crushed imokenpi with the smooth sweetness of milk chocolate, for a chewy, crunchy yet smooth sensation in the mouth. The result is the Imokenpi Thunder bar - impulsive deliciousness and an instant new winter classic.

Imokenpi Thunder makes for a tasty snack during a break from work. You can also eat them while you’re on the go on a busy day. Take some time out to chew one and spend some time pondering how a snack manages to be at once so crunchy, yet so chewy and so smooth.

Imokenpi Thunder comes in standard 22g bars and costs just ¥40. It is available from convenience stores nationwide and will go on sale in the nation’s supermarkets and drug stores from Jan 18.

Read more stories from grape Japan.

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© grape Japan

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