REVIEW: Popeyes Honey Lemon Pepper Wings

Popeyes has a new sauce to toss its wings in: Honey Lemon Pepper. It follows the Honey BBQ, Roasted Garlic Parmesan, and Signature Hot flavors released late last year. The chicken chain says the wings have “a sweet and tangy punch with zesty lemon and a bit of peppery heat from black pepper, giving you all the flavors you love about lemon pepper wings with an extra hint of honey sweetness.”

Wafting from the black container these came in was a strong lemon scent that I thought smelled a little odd with the Popeyes spices. Thankfully, the thoughts of lemon-scented cleanliness didn’t come to mind. After tasting the sweet, tangy, and peppery chicken, what popped into my head was the goopy lemon sauce I’ve had on chicken from various Chinese takeout places, but with a bit of heat. It’s a strong and natural lemon flavor with an equally intense sweetness that I imagine helps prevent the chicken from getting too spicy.

Popeyes’ website says it’s two on its heat scale of five, and I agree. There’s a kick, but I’m not reaching for a tall glass of lemonade or squirting honey into my mouth from a bear-shaped bottle to soothe any burning. It’s a great tasting sauce, but…

Having 3,609 milligrams of sodium for six pieces is a bit much. In fact, that’s 749 milligrams more than the next highest amount from the Roasted Garlic Parmesan Wings. While I can understand the higher sodium content in chicken with a roasted garlic parmesan sauce, I’m puzzled by how a sauce made from lemons, honey, and pepper could contribute to such a high number. I know it’s fast food, and I know it’s Popeyes, but, geez, that’s a crazy number that doesn’t make sense to me, and I hope it’s a typo.

Popeyes Honey Lemon Pepper Wings are undeniably delicious. While they may not dethrone the Honey BBQ as my favorite, they certainly hold their own. Despite the alarming sodium content, which I hope is a mistake, I believe they’re worth a try.

Purchased Price: $7.49*
Size: 6-piece order
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 1,304 calories, 58 grams of fat, 25 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 202 milligrams of cholesterol, 3,609 milligrams of sodium, 134 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 53 grams of sugar, and 60 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

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