Chicago-style hot dog, now in popcorn form
The Chicago-style hot dog is an icon that needs no improvement, but certain adaptations (such as Allium's) threaten to do just that. The Popcorn Factory is taking the classic food in its own direction, with Chicago-style hot dog–flavored popcorn, part of a trio of "Chicago" flavors that hit the market today, in honor of Chicago's 176th birthday. Also featured: Chicago-style deep-dish pizza popcorn and drizzled-cheesecake popcorn. The Popcorn Factory kindly sent over some samples; my tasting notes are below.
Chicago-style deep dish pizza popcorn
Looks...like it was literally attacked by a deep-dish pizza. It glows crimson and appears slightly alive.
Tastes...like tomato sauce with fake cheese. In other words, exactly like a deep-dish pizza.
To summarize...kind of genius.
Chicago-style hot dog popcorn
Looks...like heavily seasoned popcorn.
Tastes...like mustard. Lingering finish of onion powder. Faint scent of nitrates.
To summarize...At least it doesn't taste like ketchup.
Drizzled cheesecake popcorn
Looks...like any popcorn with melted chocolate.
Tastes...like corn syrup, fake vanilla, shortening and chemicals.
To summarize...This cements cheesecake's status as a second-tier "Chicago food."
Chicago flavors are available online at The Popcorn Factory through March 31.