Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review: Detour Lower Sugar Caramel Peanut

My induction into the world of jumbo, 30-gram, candy-bar-like protein bars began with a Detour bar. Before that, I never saw the virtues of eating something that big, and I never knew what people meant when they likened their protein bars to Snickers or other candy bars. Sure, some bars taste good, but I wouldn’t call them candy...and then I ate the Lean Muscle Cookie Dough Caramel Crisp bar.

But I haven’t tried any more Detour bars since then, although I’m not sure why. Possibly because the only place that carries them around here is GNC, which is where I decided to reintroduce this brand, with the Lower Sugar Caramel Peanut bar.

I did not get a jumbo-sized bar this time, because they had the option of a smaller one. And it is pretty small, at least to me. I wish there was an in-between size. :)

Inside, we have caramel, peanuts, and a cream-colored base. That caramel does look gooey, although it’s a very thin layer. I’d like to see a bit more, but that’s just me because I love all things caramel.

All right, let’s get down to the important stuff: taste! Despite the seemingly thin caramel layer, this bar is quite sweet, so I can only guess that the base is caramel-flavored as well. There is a funny tint to the sweetness; I wouldn’t exactly call it protein, just odd. I could only really detect it when I didn’t get enough peanuts, so I think it’s coming from the base because trust me, that caramel is the real deal.

The peanuts aren’t wimpy, either. They’re big chunks (seeming all the bigger in this smaller bar), and they impart their flavor accordingly. When you get a huge chunk, the caramel becomes more of a background complement. But they’re not overwhelming by any means, which lets the bar keep a nice mix of sweet and salty.

The only thing keeping this from being a Snickers is the base--it’s definitely not nougat-soft (have you ever met a protein bar with a soft base?). There’s quite a bit of resistance as you bite into it, and I wouldn’t recommend big bites or you’ll get tired. The peanuts add a nice variation with their crunch, and the caramel...well, it’s not that noticeable texture-wise, but as long as I can taste it that’s OK.

I liked it, plain and simple. It’s like a healthier version of a Snickers, pleasantly sweet and at the same time satisfying any nut cravings you have. There might be a bit of funny taste, but nothing that’s a dealbreaker. Good job on this one.
Taste: 8--really peanutty, but the caramel makes itself heard, too. The only detractor is that slight weird sweetness in the base.
Texture: 9--it’s fine if you don’t rush it. Much more satisfying to chew than a Snickers, with the same peanutty crunch.
Health: 8--the protein blend they use is made entirely of whey, and this bar has roughly half the sugar as does the original Caramel Peanut bar (3 grams for the small bar, vs. 6 for the original).
Eat Again? Yes.

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