Tag Archives: Illinois Gourmet Food

Wild Ophelia Chocolate

Katrina Markoff ‘s nickname, Wild Ophelia, was inspired by her childhood experiments with unusual ingredients and chocolate at her family’s fruit stand.  She carried her passion and creativity into her career, founding Vosges Haut-Chocolat, and she is recognized as a visionary chocolatier for her fusion of high-quality chocolate and exotic ingredients.  Katrina’s second company, Wild Ophelia, partners with other food artisans in developing upscale, distinctly American, chocolate candies.  Wild Ophelia chocolates are made with all-natural ingredients, are manufactured with 100% renewable energy, and are packaged in 100% recycled materials.  Along with the company’s commitment to producing high-quality chocolate in an environmentally responsible manner, Wild Ophelia’s mission is to educate Americans about their food sources and encourage them to really appreciate their food.

Because I’m crazy for sweet and savory combinations, we sampled Wild Ophelia All-Natural Smokehouse BBQ Potato Chips Dark Chocolate Bar, which pairs Wild Ophelia’s 70% cocoa content confection with Billy Goat Chip Company’s BBQ Chips for a warm, spicy, dark chocolate treat.


Billy Goat BBQ Potato Chips were born in the first gastropub in St. Louis.  The restaurant’s chips became so popular that commercial production was practically demanded.  The handmade chips are made from thinly-sliced potatoes dusted with Billy Goat Chip Company’s Kicker seasoning.

We love Wild Ophelia’s mission to build cooperation among American food artisans, and the great-tasting result of the partnership with Billy Goat Chip Company.  The complex flavor combination of chocolate, potato chips, and BBQ spices makes the last bite as interesting as the first.  Join Wild Ophelia’s “American road trip through chocolate”!

Where to buy Wild Ophelia Chocolates

Where to buy Billy Goat Chip Company Smokehouse BBQ Chips

(Note:  “Find a Store” links to a list of retailers on the Company’s website, but stores may not carry all of the Company’s products.  Please check with your local store to be sure they have this specific product in stock.  If not, ask them to carry it!)

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Filed under Candy, Crackers, Chips & Snacks, Uncategorized

G. H. Cretors Just the Cheese Corn

My husband thinks we should have a commercial popcorn popper.  Not one of the small-scale table-top models, but a full-sized movie-theater style popcorn machine.  Right, Honey.  Exactly what we need.    There is definitely something inherently more tasty about popcorn popped in a commercial popper, though.  I never gave the origin of the commercial popcorn popper a single thought until the vintage striped bag of G.H. Cretors Just the Cheese Corn grabbed my attention at Plano’s Central Market.  In business since 1885, it just stands to reason that the Cretors family must know a thing or two about popcorn.  As I quickly learned, “Great Grandpa” Cretors invented the popcorn machine in 1885, and in 1893, it debuted at the Chicago Columbian Exposition.  Five generations later, the Cretors family is still popping corn and making Cheese Corn with his recipe.

I haven’t been a huge fan of cheese popcorn because often the “cheese” is nothing more than a chalky dusting of fake cheese powder.  Ick!  Just the Cheese Corn seemed promising, because the ingredients listed on the bag included real cheddar cheese.  That had to be a good start.  The bag also indicated Cretors Just the Cheese Corn is Kosher, gluten-free, has no GMOs, and is made with all natural ingredients.  With such an impressive resumé, I was expecting it to be really good, and it certainly was!  The popcorn was exceptionally fluffy, and the tasty cheddar cheese was tangy without even the slightest hint of chalkiness.  Add one more attribute to Just the Cheese Corn — this yummy and wholesome snack has only 170 calories in a 2-cup serving.  Are you looking for your car keys right now to run out and pick up a bag?  This would be the perfect snack for family movie night.

G.H. Cretors

G.H. Cretors offers sweet and salty Kettle Corn, Caramel Corn made with real butter, Caramel Nut Crunch with roasted nuts, and Chicago Mix, a combination of caramel corn and cheese corn.  The company’s website offers a sampler pack with full-size bags of all flavors, and also features a store locator to find a local retailer.  The vintage photographs on the site are very cool, too.  Check out this Waukegan, Illinois family company and their very tasty popcorn flavors!

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Filed under Crackers, Chips & Snacks