Rating: ©©©© chips (lip-smacking)
What do we have here? Yep, that’s right, another unique, startling and lip-smacking flavor from everyone’s favorite Warrenville Popcorn Store – Chef’s Shoppe! In case you are unfamiliar with this great specialty cooking and food store (which would mean you haven’t read our reviews for their other fantastic flavors – Sriracha-Cheese and Spicy Beer Cheese – shame on you!), this shop also makes some of the best popcorn around!! Edwardsville is the third oldest city in the state of Illinois. And although technically a city in southwestern Illinois, Edwardsville is considered a part of the greater metro area of St. Louis. So, we’re not sure if Edwardsville citizens cheer for the Blackhawks or the Blues, but we’re guessing that regardless of sports team loyalty, all Edwardsville-ians love themselves some Chef’s Shoppe popcorn!
So, how did this gourmet kitchen store get into the popcorn game? According to the Chef Shoppe legend, and we have no reason to question it:
In May 2012 the Chef’s Shoppe expanded again, taking over the 2,500 square foot space adjacent to the existing business and adding popcorn. But they didn’t start small – offering over 70 flavors of popcorn every day, the Chef’s Shoppe entered the popcorn scene in a big way. Scott, having officially retired after 32 years with AT&T the year before, is the head “popologist”. With the help of his merry band of popping and coating specialists they turn out hundreds of gallons of popcorn every week. ALL are made fresh in house – ALL are available to taste before you buy – ALL are so delicious that picking just one is nearly impossible.
Right from the get go, a potent blast of wasabi sets the flavor tone for this lip-smacking popcorn. That undeniable wasabi burn clears the nasal passageway, and then lingers there for a while. Not really sure if we can actually pinpoint any soy in the mix, but then again it is sort of tough with the barrage of wasabi slapping taste buds around! The real kicker, or curve ball, in this flavor combination is the inclusion of white cheddar cheese. This cheese powder adds a dynamic facet to the flavor that is really unlike anything we have tasted before. It sort of smooths out, or mellows, the wasabi just a little bit, but still allows the green root to do its intended job.
Not sure if we have brought this up before, but we love the Chef’s Shoppe technique for applying seasoning. Somehow they are able to cake the popcorn kernels with an almost wet slathering of seasoning that delivers this richness to the popcorn that our mouths enjoy very much!
In the end it is probably fair to say that we appreciate this flavor more than we actually loved eating it. It is certainly not a flavor of popcorn that we would want to sit down and enjoy a big bowl, or even a bag of. This wasabi & soy is meant to be sampled, and maybe grazed upon in passing, but not eaten by the handful. Either way, count us impressed by Chef’s Shoppe once again!
As always, these are our thoughts. Agree or disagree, make sure to let us know.
Popcorn provided to Chip Review by J & V for review
Chip Ratings Scale:
© – return to sender
©© – tolerable
©©© – notable
©©©© – lip-smacking
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