Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Detour Lower Sugar Chocolate Chip Caramel

Detour returns today with another lower sugar option, the Lower Sugar Chocolate Chip Caramel. Unlike the first Lower Sugar bar I reviewed, this one is the big size, so hopefully it will help me get a better feel for these slightly more carb-friendly bars.

Upon opening it up, I discovered that some gooey caramel had burst through the top, leaving it a little sticky but also getting me excited for what’s inside...

But breaking it was a bit of a disappointment visually.

The caramel layer is so thin it’s almost invisible. It still has that stringy stretchy consistency that makes caramel so awesome, though, so there’s still hope! Other than that, it looks just like the picture on the wrapper.

This is a funny bar. It has so much potential, and it is pretty tasty, but at the same time it’s lacking. For one thing, the base carries the same funky background taste that I picked up with the Lower Sugar Peanut Caramel bar. So I guess I know it wasn’t the flavor mix messing things up for me in that review. Again, I don’t really know how to describe this taste, just that it’s not natural and I know it doesn’t belong. The good news is that this weirdness is subtle and, as I progressed through the bar it actually seemed to disappear. I don’t know if I just got used to it or what. But taking bigger bites seems to help mitigate it.

While this bar definitely carries a hint of sweetness from the caramel, it’s only that--a hint. I guess you can’t expect too much from that thin little layer, but still...some more caramel would be appreciated (and would probably bust that weird taste in the base)! On the plus side, the coating is milk chocolatey and there are real, decent-sized chocolate chips inside. They’re about the size of Hershey’s mini chocolate chips, which is refreshing when so many protein bars use chocolate specks or dots instead of chips.

The base is gummy and chewy and could get difficult to handle if you were in a hurry, but I think it’s more satisfying that way. There are little rice crisps in there, but they don’t add much. They’re non-eventful and, combined with the base texture, come across as more of a soggy crisp than what you’d expect from a Rice Krispies Treat. Still, I have to appreciate the effort on Detour’s part.

Taste: 7.5--chocolate-ish, but there is still a funny taste to these Lower Sugar bars. I also wish the caramel had more of a presence.
Texture: 9--pretty much what you’d expect--gummy and chewy, a bit of a workout but very satisfying. The crisps were a little silly, but good for variety.
Health: 8--whey protein, and about half the sugar of the original line. Probably a good idea to watch the sugar alcohols, though.
Eat Again? Yes.

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