BIJOU-REVIEW: PopCorners – Cheesy Jalapeno Popped Corn Chips

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

PopCorners - Cheesy JalapenoPopped Corn Chips, aka Popcorn Chips are alright in our books.

They certainly have a unique texture, providing a much softer crunch than traditional potato or tortilla chips.  And in the case of PopCorners, an even softer crunch than other popped corn chips we have tasted.

Tasty cheese blend coating that compliments the popped corn chips more than  adequately.

The jalapeño presence is more apparent in its delivery of heat than it is in flavor, but if we strained our taste buds we could sort of distinguish a hint of the vegetal chili flavor.

As always these are our thoughts.  Feel free to let us know your own.

Chips discovered at Pete’s Fresh Market; Lombard, Illinois

Popcorners Official Website

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BIJOU-REVIEW: PopCorners – Mango Salsa Popped Bean Chips

Rating: ©©-3/4 chips  (tolerable)

Popcorners - Mango Salsa Popped Bean ChipsPopCorner’s slogan used to be “The New Shape of Popcorn,”  apparently now it has changed to “Simply the Better Choice.”  So, the question then arises, was that “simply the better choice”, for “the new shape of popcorn?”

First, let’s point out PopCorner’s beautiful new sophisticated packaging to our left.  The bright white, eye-catching bag with bold orange and blue font popping off of it is eye-catching to say the least.

These chips intrigued us from the get go.  We have always been fans of the popped popcorn chips, but we’re pretty sure that we have never tried any that included popped beans (there has to be a joke in there somewhere in there right?)!!

Just like with the packaging, the actual chips are also quite visually impressive.  Hexagonal in shape, with colors of blue-ish-black, and green mixed in with the typical yellows and whites of popcorn.  The chips sort of reminded us of a multi-colored granite counter top.

Unfortunately, the chips also taste like that same granite counter top…. no, we’re just kidding, they aren’t quite that bad.  But, we can tell you that it is very apparent, right from the first chomp, that this is  not your typical popcorn chip party.  Beans, of three types (black, green split and yellow split), have crashed this shindig, and taken control of the crunchy refreshments!

The beans give the chips a tougher texture and chew, and definitely cause them to dry out quite a bit.  We were reaching for some water after only a couple of chips.

Even probably more odd than their texture was the chips’ seasoning. The mango salsa seasoning started out just like any other mango salsa flavoring, delivering a sweet and tangy, tropical fruity flavor, but that quickly diminished and the seasoning went somewhere we just did not enjoy following.

We don’t know about you but when we think of mango salsa we do not think of paprika, cumin or cinnamon.  Do you?  Didn’t think so.  Pretty sure this seasoning included all three.

Last little gripe, we could have used more salt on these chips to keep them in the savory realm as opposed to the sweet

Chips discovered at World Market; Oak Brook, Illinois

Popcorners Official Website

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REVIEW: PopCorners – Sweet Chili Popped Corn Chips

Rating: ©©©-1/4 chips  (notable)

Popcorners - Sweet ChiliPopcorn chips in general are pretty tasty.  Simple concept, with exceptional results.  Imagine popcorn with all of those pesky tooth clinging, and gum poking hulls removed, then the remaining popcorn meat is somehow forced, or popped, into a crunchy triangular chip.  How this is actually accomplished, we have no clue, but the end result is something of delicious genius that really works!

For any of you out there who somehow still haven’t tried popcorn chips of any variety or brand, first of all shame on you, and secondly, prepare your mouths for something new and unexpected!  The texture is light and crispy, leaning towards crunchy, and a bit more dense and crumbly than traditional tortilla or potato chips.  Loads of popcorn flavor compacted into a triangular chip with none of the extra hull filler.  Popcorn chips are plain and simple, a great addition to the world of chips!

Popcorners’ all new Sweet Chili flavored popped corn chips are…..decent enough.  All in all, a pretty stereotypically, generic and unenthusiastic sweet chili seasoning.  A heaping dose of sugar, generous dusting of garlic, a splash of slightly spicy chili, and just a dash of salt.  Nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing that sets it apart.  Personally, we here at Chip Review prefer the sweet chili seasoning combo atop potato based chips much more than corn based chips.  We simply feel like the sweet chili flavors compliment the potato flavor better than corn.

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Discovered at Pete’s Fresh Market; Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois

Popcorner’s Official Website

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REVIEW: Trader Joe’s – Kettle Popped Sweet & Salty Whole Grain Popcorn Chips with Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Whole Quinoa & Sunflower Seeds

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

Trader Joe's - Sweet & Salty Popcorn ChipsWell, if that isn’t the longest snack title in the history of the snack universe then we don’t know what we are snalking (snack talking) about!!

Similar to Trader Joe’s other relatively recently released chips (South African Style Seasoning), these chips are sporting a sleek jet-black packaging; (proving one thing for certain – that if we see a new salty snack at Trader Joe’s, and it comes in a shiny black bag, then we are all over that like ornaments on a Christmas Tree).  Seriously though, could Trader Joe’s possibly fit any more words, with any more different fonts, onto this packaging?!?  Actually, it does look like there is a tiny bit of room  under the swoosh directly below sunflower seeds…

The kettle popped popcorn chips remind us a lot more of those good old fashioned puffed rice cakes, than most of today’s more popular popped chips.  You know the ones that parents of the 80’s tucked into their kids’ lunchboxes?  But before any of you shrug your face in disgust at those crumbly, styrofoam textured discs, we simply meant that Trader Joe’s popcorn chips seem a lot more like they are pieces of popcorn that have been pressed and formed together to make a thin rustic chip, rather that somehow poppped in a magical hyperbaric chip champer!

Visually, these chips are quite interesting.  Extremely grainy.  We could actually see the flax and sunflower seeds scattered throughout the mostly yellow popcorn discs.  We can only assume that the quinoa has actually been pulverized and mixed into the chips somewhere because otherwise those little grains would be breaking some teeth!  The addition of those different grains and seeds (besides for their heath benefits) adds a nice textural variance with lots of little crunchies, and at the same time, adding some delicious nutty background notes.  The sea salt and cane sugar dusting is ample enough to exude that classic kettle corn sweet and salty pairing.  Weirdly though, both of those white seasonings have been so finely ground that it looked more like the chips had been sprinkled with confectioner sugar or dandruff, than normal salt and cane sugar.

Overall, these are quite impressive, and certainly delicious.  Another fine example of Trader Joe’s unique selection of salty (and sweet) snacks!

These are our thoughts, agree or disagree, make sure to let us know!

Chips discovered at Trader Joes; La Grange, Illinois

Trader Joe’s Official Website

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REVIEW: Popcorners – Memphis BBQ Popped Whole Grain Chips

Rating: ©©©-3/4 chips  (notable)

Popcorners - Memphis BBQ

Comments:

“The New Shape of Popcorn Whole Grain”

What exactly was the old shape of Whole Grain?

Maybe to answer that question, we must first understand what whole grain represents in this case.  According to the ingredients list on the back of PopCorner’s bag, the whole grains in this instance are none other then the infamous sorghum grain?  That’s right, sorghum; and we’re not talking about what you get from eating too much beef jerky.  According to Wikipedia: sorghum “is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants, either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide.”  As far as we know, these are officially the first line of chips that we have ever tasted made from a species of grass….

The rustic whole grain chips consist of a unique monotone mixture of colors, that somehow includes hues of light greys and steely blues in certain spots.  Their mouth feel is light and crispy, without being very hard or dense.  They work pretty well as crunchy flavor delivering devices.

Luckily for us, the Memphis BBQ seasoning compliments the popped whole grain chips rather nicely.  The chips are evenly coated with a slightly sweet and tangy seasoning blend that is properly salty, but has no smoky notes what so ever.  We are not quite sure what defines Memphis BBQ (anyone?), but all we know is that it is a tasty blend, and we can say straight off that we are fans.

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Chips provided to Chip Review from PopCorners for review

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REVIEW: Popcorners – Sweet Cinnamon Popped Whole Grain Chips

Rating: ©©©-1/4 chips  (notable)

Popcorners - Sweet Cinnamon

Comments:

“The New Shape of Popcorn Whole Grain”

What exactly was the old shape of Whole Grain?

Maybe to answer that question, we must first understand what whole grain represents in this case.  According to the ingredients list on the back of PopCorner’s bag, the whole grains in this instance are none other then the infamous sorghum grain?  That’s right, sorghum; and we’re not talking about what you get from eating too much beef jerky.  According to Wikipedia: sorghum “is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants, either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide.”  As far as we know, these are officially the first line of chips that we have ever tasted made from a species of grass….

For the most part we are huge fans of the cinnamon and sugar combination.  The perfect harmony of the sweet, salty and earthy aromatic notes come together with supreme balance.  Personally, we always loved the combination best when it also included a fatty element, such as butter with our toast, or butter with our cinnamon roll, or melted butter with our Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal….(JK)?!?  However, these snack companies are messing with our minds a little bit. They are taking iconic flavors from our youth (knowing we associate them with happy memories), and combining them with savory snacks that we associate with our salty youths.  Either way you sprinkle it the combination seems like it just can’t lose.

The rustic whole grain chips consist of a unique monotone mixture of colors, that somehow includes hues of light greys and steely blues in certain spots.  Their mouth feel is light and crispy, without being very hard or dense.  They work perfectly adequate as crunchy flavor delivering devices, but in the end do not deliver the type of crunch, texture and richness that we like to get from our chips.

The cinnamon and sugar flavor combination seems to work just fine with these chips.  The two aren’t quite as natural of a fit as pretzels with cinnamon and sugar, but do seem more natural than potato chips dusted with cinnamon and sugar.  From the very second these hit our tongues, it was undeniable what flavor they were.  We are guessing that 9 out of 10 tasters would identify this combination in a blind taste test.  So, the prerequisite cinnamon and sugar are present, but as tasty as they always are on their own, we really wish there was a lot more salt to cut through the sweetness, and balance out the combo (while reminding us that we are also eating a chip).

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Chips provided to Chip Review from PopCorners for review

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Chip Review of the day…..

Popcorners – Twisted Salt Popped Whole Grain Chips

Rating: ©©©© chips  (lip-smacking)

Popcorners - Twisted Salt

Comments:

“The New Shape of Popcorn Whole Grain”

What exactly was the old shape of Whole Grain?

Maybe to answer that question, we must first understand what whole grain represents in this case.  According to the ingredients list on the back of PopCorner’s bag, the whole grains in this instance are none other then the infamous sorghum grain?  That’s right, sorghum; and we’re not talking about what you get from eating too much beef jerky.  According to Wikipedia: sorghum “is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants, either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide.”  As far as we know, these are the first chips that we have ever tasted made from a species of grass….

PopCorners have been a consistent player in the popped chip market for a good while now.  Up until now their original line of popped chips have consisted of popcorn chips (which is a grain we are much more familiar with than sorghum).  However, being the professionals that we are, we did not hesitate for one second to give these grass/grain popped chips a taste.

First impression – the chips consist of a unique monotone mixture of colors, that includes hues of light greys and steely blues in some spots.  Their mouth feel is light and crispy, without being too hard and dense.  They work quite adequately as crunchy flavor delivering devices.

What really set these chips apart for us was their flavor name (and taste).  We just love the name Twisted Salt.  The best part, we didn’t quite know what to assume we were about to taste?  Would the salt include a twist of lime?  Or, might it be spicy??  Well, as it turns out, Twisted Salt appears to be PopCorners variation of a seasoned salt, or salt with a flavorful supporting cast.  Either way you shake it, these chips are not lacking in flavor one bit.  Each chip was liberally coated with plenty of salt, as well as, onion, garlic and some unnamed spices (one of which we are fairly certain was rosemary).

In conclusion, let us just tell you that the Twisted Salt flavor pairs very well with the crunchy whole grains, even when those grains are really actually grass chips in disguise.

As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think.  Agree or disagree, let us know.

Chips provided to Chip Review from PopCorners for review

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