Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: Pure Protein Bar Strawberry Shortcake

Despite not living on campus, and despite not having a meal plan and thus extra meal points to spend or lose at the end of the year, I could not resist the lure of a Penn State convenience store. I remember from living in the dorms that they tend to have a decent selection of meal replacement (protein/nutrition) bars, and I have this thing with protein bars...I think I’m aiming toward eating them all at least once. :)

Anyway, it was worth the stop on my way biking to my car after work (you would think they could give me a parking space that wasn’t 1.5 miles away...and that didn’t necessitate taking apart my bike and shoving it in the trunk of a small sedan...oh well, I am getting a thesis out of this, after all). I seem to have bought most other stores in State College out of new Pure Protein flavors, although there’s one at Weis that only comes in a box of 5 or 6 and I don’t want a bunch left over if I don’t like them.

Wait, sorry, getting off track here. The point is, they had a flavor I hadn’t tried: Strawberry Shortcake. Not only that, it was big! The big ones are always more fun. ;)

How cute, Pure Protein Strawberry Shortcake and Quest Strawberry Cheesecake.... That Pure Protein bar seems awfully proud of the fact that it’s made with real fruit.

“The luscious flavor of fresh picked strawberries in the Pure Protein Strawberry Shortcake high protein bars is so delicious… it’s like heaven on earth.”
Yay for white coating!! I’m going to assume it’s yogurt coating, because yogurt and strawberries just go together, right? I wish it was a little thicker so you couldn’t see the insides of the bar, but I’ll take what I can get. The whole thing reeks of strawberry Pop-Tarts, which is cool because I like strawberry Pop-Tarts (just not as much as the chocolate and cinnamon ones).

Inside we have a protein base that is probably supposed to taste like strawberry, and a jelly layer that is giving off the Pop-Tart smell. Now that I broke the bar, it’s really strong. The jelly layer itself is almost liquid, with no real substance...basically like, well, jelly.

The smell translates directly into the taste. The jelly layer is dominant, giving the bar that artificial-strawberry taste you’d associate with strawberry Pop-Tart filling. Only I think it’s stronger here. It’s a little fake and tart, and I wouldn’t mind it being a bit sweeter. But the upshot is that I can’t tell you what the base tastes like, because I can’t taste the base. So no protein aftertaste, at least. Unfortunately I can’t really taste the white coating, either, except on the ends (I like to save those for last). And, predictably, it’s my favorite part.

I have to admit that it’s a little disconcerting at first biting into this bar and immediately hitting that liquid jelly layer with no resistance...I don’t know, it just feels wrong. Protein bars are supposed to be chewy or gummy or crispy. But overall, it works. It’s unique, and the actual base is sufficiently chewy and gummy to make up for it. The mix of textures is actually quite pleasing.

Overall, this is a really good’s just that I’m not much for fruity stuff when I could have chocolate or caramel or cinnamon or get the point. But the strong strawberry taste was quite refreshing, and there’s no need to worry about protein aftertaste.

Taste: 9--basically like a very strong, slightly tart strawberry Pop-Tart.
Texture: 8--OK, a chewy strawberry Pop-Tart.
Health: 8--equal amounts of carbs and protein, and it contains 10 grams of sugar alcohols...still, 29 grams of protein for 280 calories is pretty good for a monster-sized bar.
Eat Again? Yes.

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