BIJOU-REVIEW: Chef’s Shoppe – Salsa Cheese Popcorn

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

Chef's Shoppe - SalsaAnytime Chip Review’s all too generous friends bring them back the latest new popcorn creation from Chef’s Shoppe Gourmet Kitchen Store our mouths begin to water.

Unfortunately, this is not one of Chef’s Shoppe’s best offerings by a long shot….but then again it’s not fair to think that every new flavor we try from them will be as fantastically delicious as their Sriracha, or Beer, or Bacon Cheddar popcorn offerings.

Chef’s Shoppe’s Salsa Cheese flavored popcorn suffers from the same faults as a very few of their other flavors also do.

A touch too salty.  And we love salt.

Too cheesy.  Too cheesy?  Yep, that’s right, in this case the cheese powder completely overwhelms any sense of salsa flavors there may be.

Nacho Cheese in disguise.  The only other flavor that we could actually distinguish was some essence of chile pepper.  Maybe jalapeño.  Combine this with the loads of cheese, and all our minds could think was NACHO CHEESE (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just not what we were hoping for).

Of course Chef’s Shoppe’s popcorn itself was top notch as usual.  Crispy, and fresh, and expertly coated in seasoning.  But, all we were thinking the whole time we were eating this flavor was why we hadn’t just gotten bigger bags of those other great flavors mentioned above?!

Popcorn provided to Chip Review by J & V for review

Chef’s Shoppe Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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BIJOU-REVIEW: Chef’s Shoppe – Jalapeño Ranch Cheese Popcorn

Rating: ©©©-1/2 chips  (notable)

Chef's Shoppe - Jalapeno Ranch PopcornThis is not Chef’s Shoppe’s best offering by a long shot….

Maybe they just set the bar too high with the likes of their amazing Sriracha, and Beer, and Bacon Cheddar flavored Popcorns.  Or, maybe we just scrutinize them too harshly??  Either way, this flavor doesn’t come close!

Too salty.  And we love salt.

Too cheesy.  What?  Too cheesy?  That’s right, in this case the cheese powder completely overwhelms the other flavors.

Ranch = creamy garlic.  That’s we really taste.  No tang, and certainly no mention of any herbal notes, like dill.

Wheres the jalapeño?  Sure, we feel that tickle in the backs of our throats, but we don’t really taste any of the actual vegetal chili flavor.

Of course the Chef’s Shoppe’s popcorn itself is top notch as usual, but all we were thinking the whole time we were eating this flavor was why we hadn’t just gotten bigger bags of those other great flavors mentioned above?!

Popcorn provided to Chip Review by J & V for review

Chef’s Shoppe Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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REVIEW: Chef’s Shoppe – Bacon Cheddar Popcorn

Rating: ©©©©-1/4 chips  (lip-smacking)

Chef's Shoppe - Bacon CheddarBacon and Cheddar.  Quite possibly as classic of culinary combination as peanut butter and jelly.  And certainly just as delicious.

We’ve tried A LOT of bacon cheddar flavored snacks over the years.  But, looking back we were very surprised to find that we didn’t love very many of them.

The same cannot be said for Chef’s Shoppe’s Bacon Cheddar Popcorn – this stuff is lip-smacking!  Then again, should we have even doubted this popcorn?  You may remember Chef’s Shoppe from such amazing “A” list hits as Sriracha-Cheese and Spicy Beer Cheese – both easily make our Top Popcorn list of all-time.  In other words, Chef’s Shoppe makes such delicious popcorn that they can even take a flavor combination that we apparently do not like in snack form very much, and turn it into a real lip-smacking winner!

First of all, this popcorn has real bacon bits in it!  No, we’re not talking about “real” bacon like Bacos, we’re talking about broken up pieces of deliciously fatty bacon!  And, the result is of course…..loads of real bacon flavor!  Crispy, porky, salty, slightly smoky, delicious bacon!

Secondly, our taste buds are shockingly impressed by just how super salty this stuff is!  Seriously, we had to apply Chapstick at least three times just while taste testing the popcorn!  A liberal yellow cheddar cheese dusting provided a delicious level of creaminess, a dash of tang, and of course that healthy dosage, or two, or three, of SALT!!

So, there you have it.  If you are like us and love bacon & cheddar pretty much anything than you will be happy to know that this popcorn is the real tasty deal!

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

Chef’s Shoppe Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

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©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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25 Chips to Christmas….

#1

Fire Corn – Jalapeño -&- White Cheddar Jalapeño Popcorn – AND – Chef’s Shoppe – Sriracha -&- Beer Popcorn

Fire Corn - Jalapeno PopcornChef's Shoppe - Sriracha PopcornFire Corn - White Cheddar Jalapeno PopcornChef's Shoppe

Original Reviews Here and Here and Here and……Here

OK, hold on, wait a second.  Before you start calling us names like “cheaters” for choosing four different bags of popcorn, from two different companies, as the number 1 “chip” (sorry chips – but popcorn rules this year!!) on our list this year, just hear us out.  This year we reviewed an unprecedented number of different brands, and flavors, and types of popcorn – somewhere in the realm of 40 or so.  That’s about a third of all of our reviews from 2015.  Among those 40, there were four bags that stood so far apart from the rest of the popcorn (and chip) field that we new without any doubt that we were crunching on pure popcorn perfection!  But the thing was, or is, we can’t seem to choose any one of these above the rest.  They are all perfect in their own ways, and to call one better than any of the other four would just be wrong.  In fact, we can’t wait for the day when we take one bag of each of these different flavors of popcorn and mix them all together in a bowl to make the ULTIMATE SUPER POPCORN!!

And that wraps things up for us here at Chip Review.  We hope you have enjoyed counting down through this year’s best with us, as much as we have enjoyed reflecting back upon it.  We hop you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!  We will be back at it with all new deliciously crunchy reviews in 2016 – stay tuned!

REVIEW: Chef’s Shoppe – Wasabi & Soy Popcorn

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Chef Shoppe - Wasabi SoyWhat 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

Chef’s Shoppe Official Website

Chip Ratings Scale:

(1/4 increments)

© return to sender

©© tolerable

©©© – notable

©©©© – lip-smacking

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