Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Supreme Protein Bar Caramel Nut Chocolate

Recently I’ve been getting bored of looking at the same old choices of bars at my local Wegmans, many of which I’ve already tried and not overly excited about buying again (unless of course I have a coupon!). But it turns out I’ve been totally missing out on a great selection of protein bars I have never tried, and in the most unlikely of places: the tiny Weis next to the high school, which is a convenient stop for me since it’s also right by the YMCA.

I was rushing down the ice cream aisle for the checkout, and I happened to take a different route...which led me past an entire wall full of protein and nutrition bars. I just couldn’t resist adding a few (OK, like six) to my already precarious load (silly me, not picking up a basket on the way in). One of the coolest parts was, they had some jumbo protein bars! Case in point: this Supreme Protein Caramel Nut Chocolate bar.

Again, I love the size! (Although that Quest bar is pretty darn filling, too.) The inside wasn’t quite the pristine, smooth chocolatey coating I was expecting, though.

Some of the caramel appears to have exploded out of the bar and, consequently, all over the wrapper. The chocolate coating was also a little cracked. Oh well, at least now I know there really is caramel in there.

As you can see, this bar is composed of a protein base, a layer of gooey caramel, and a nice thick chocolate coating. The protein base is almost like nougat in texture, only a little gummier. What you can’t see--but an important component in the mix--is the nuts also hiding out in the caramel layer.

As you might expect from one of these monster protein bars, it’s more of a candy bar than a true, healthy protein bar. I’ll admit that at first taste I thought it was a little off or weird, but I ended up really getting into it. The caramel is a strong influence, with the nougat base complementing its gooiness. The nuts add a pleasant crunch, although their taste is surprisingly subtle; I usually find that nuts overpower other flavors, but not here. They could have been slightly more solid rice crispies, for all I could tell.

My only other concern was that this bar was slightly messy. The chocolate coating has a bad habit of crumbling off weirdly at times. Other than that, though, I enjoyed the texture. It was sort of like a gummier Snickers bar--nougat, caramel, nuts, chocolate.

Overall? While I liked the giant Detour bar I tried better, this one still had a great taste...but, iffy nutrition. Sure, it had 30 grams of protein (wow!), but there are still a lot of unpronounceable ingredients. And, even though it’s labeled as “carb conscious,” there are a fair amount of those, too (more than protein). No wonder it tastes like candy. It practically is! But, I get that some people need all the extra “junk” to stomach the protein.

At 400 calories, this is a bit hefty for a snack. But they do come in smaller sizes, with about half the calories and protein content. Kudos to Supreme Protein for marketing not just to huge bodybuilder dudes (and Computer Science majors with bottomless stomachs), but also normal people.

Taste: 9--very, very sweet and caramelly, with the chocolate also playing a dominant role. More reminiscent of a candy bar than a protein bar.
Texture: 9--gummy/gooey in a caramel way, although I wish the chocolate coating wasn’t so messy.
Health: 6--I wish it had less sugar and a waay shorter list of ingredients. But 30 grams of protein isn’t bad. Although, some of it is soy.
Eat Again? Yeah, but not often and probably a smaller size--this was just for kicks.

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