Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: GNC Pro Performance Deluxe Oatmeal Protein Bar Peanut Butter Caramel

As you might know from my previous post, I’ve been experimenting with the GNC brand of protein bars lately. OK, actually I’ve had one so far far, but I’ve bought four, since the first one was such a success. It was this success that made me reach for another Pro Performance oatmeal protein bar last night, the Peanut Butter Caramel bar.

Look at how pretty it is! The visual cues are right on, with the peanut butter-colored base and the caramel icing. This bar is very heavy, sort of like a brick in that it’s a solid block of protein. It also smells vaguely like peanut butter, although with a sourish hint.

In contrast to the Glazed Cinnamon Roll I already tried, this one has a bit of a funky taste at first; almost just like it smells. It’s passable as peanut butter, but there’s also something a little off about it. It’s definitely salty, and then the icing lends a hint of caramel sweetness. But there’s some kind of odd flavor mixing going on here, neither of the two flavors is obvious. They’re kind of mashed together in one big weirdness factor. It’s sort of tasty, but I’m not sure if I’d truly consider is peanut butter or caramel. Although taking a bigger bite seems to yield more of a peanut butter taste.

It’s also a little bit harder than the cinnamon flavor, though that may just be because it spent longer in the chilly basement. There’s a definite “breaking point” about halfway through the bar where it’s not as soft. After a few chews, though, it softens right up. At no point was it tiring or hard to get through, although it has more than enough resistance and substance to be satisfying.

As before, this bar is microwaveable, so I heated the last bit up for 15 seconds. The icing actually melted in a few places and smeared on my hands because I wasn’t expecting that, but it was a pretty cool touch. The funky taste also diminished, allowing the sweet icing flavor to come through stronger, and it got soft--about the consistency of a brownie, with a bit of oatmeal texture. Much improved, but it still doesn’t come close to the cinnamon flavor!

Taste: 7--some sort of funky peanut butter thing going on. It does get better in the microwave.
Texture: 9--not too hard and not too soft, especially heated up; the icing will melt though, so watch out.
Health: 8--it has a huge 49 grams of carbs...but at least only 6 of them are sugar. It’s also a little calorie dense if you’re just looking for a snack.
Eat Again? Probably not.

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