Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Quest Protein Bar Strawberry Cheesecake

I’ll let you in on a secret: I don’t like cheesecake.


I’m not sure what it tastes like or why it’s so unappetizing, but cake just shouldn’t taste like that. I’m all for that super dense and creamy texture but...I really don’t know. Let’s just go with, it’s too cheesy.

I do, however, like strawberries. A lot. So I’m not totally crazy for ordering the Strawberry Cheesecake Quest bar from bodybuilding.com. And in reality, protein bars never actually taste like what they’re supposed to (with the notable exception of Quest’s Cinnamon Roll flavor and, possibly, Chocolate Brownie).

Still, it seems like they’re more successful at mimicking fruit than sweets like chocolate and caramel, or peanut butter. Artificial fruit flavors have apparently evolved more rapidly than imitations of higher-calorie foods. Does anyone else find it ironic that we’ve figured out how to make fruity things taste delicious while making them totally bad for us, yet with indulgences it’s the opposite?

Wait--I was reviewing a protein bar here! Let that be the star of the show!

 

Hmm...I have to admit I was disappointed here. This was actually a pretty ugly protein bar, considering that it’s supposed to taste like strawberry cheesecake and it’s that weird brownish color. There are some red speckles thrown in (real strawberries!), which is encouraging.

It smells like those fruity gummies...I think they’re called Fruit Snacks? I suppose all fruit chews smell similar...the strawberry ones, anyway. So I was imagining this bar tasting something like artificial strawberry flavoring, which isn’t a bad thing because I really like strawberry candy.

Well anyway, I took a bite...

 

...and got a bunch of it stuck on my front teeth! This bar is by no means hard to chew, but it does stick to your teeth a bit. I didn’t really mind. The texture kept me busy for a while; as with the other Quest bars, you can’t hurry through this one or take too big of a bite. I have to add that while I didn’t have access to a microwave, I did set the bar on top of my Mac Mini server for about 30 minutes before eating it, so it picked up a little heat. See, I do know how to use technology! ;)

It has a sweet generic sort of flavor that could pass off as cake. It’s really quite pleasant. The strawberry flavor doesn’t kick in right away, but when it does it’s becomes dominant (especially when you get a bite with a strawberry chunk!). I don’t mean that it completely takes over because you can still taste the background sweetness from the main mixture. Wow, I am doing a horrible job of explaining this.

Let’s just say I liked it. More than the Peanut Butter Supreme, if you can believe that. It really does have a lot of flavor, with some of the same “juiciness” as the Cinnamon Roll flavor. And, no aftertaste! It might hang around in your teeth for a bit, but with the taste of it I wouldn’t complain about that!

As someone who thinks fruits don’t pass for desserts, I’d probably grab a Cinnamon Roll or Chocolate Brownie bar before this one, but it’s a close third. Close to the brownie, anyway...no one is ever getting near that cinnamon roll!

Taste: 9--sweet and pleasant with a strawberry kick.
Texture: 9--sticks to your teeth, but it keeps you busy without making you work too hard.
Health: 10--as usual, Quest has quite possibly THE best nutritional profile of any protein bar out there. Need I say more?
Eat Again? Yes, although probably not frequently given all the other protein bars I like. However, if price was not an issue: Absolutely!

 
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