Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review: Metragenix 2:1 Bar Almond Caramel Crunch

I haven’t had too much success with Metragenix bars lately, which has been disappointing since the first few I had were really impressive. But I still had one more left in my stash, and I just couldn’t ignore the lure of a giant protein bar...

This time I bought the 2:1 Almond Caramel Crunch bar. And this thing is HUGE, at 92 grams! It’s both long and thick and, well, heavy. It must be absolutely crammed with almonds and caramel...oh yeah, and 30 grams of protein. It’s no wonder this has the highest calorie count of Metragenix’s bars, at 380.

The almonds are actually sticking through the coating. I guess there’s no disputing their presence. The bar smells entirely like fake chocolate, so I’m ready for a protein fest here.

Whoa, make that caramel fest! Look at that gooey stuff! It’s so authentic that my finger punched right through the top of the bar when I tried to break it. It appears that the almonds have been incorporated into the top of the coating, rather than mixed with the caramel, which makes for an extra-stringy effect. I’m drooling, despite the protein smell.

Well, as has happened in the past, the base is pretty sorry--a sad attempt to cover up protein with fake chocolate flavoring. It also needs help texture-wise, because it’s a bit dry and hard, yet chewy once you start...well, chewing. That said, it won’t wear you out. But it’s also not great for an on-the-go meal, because (again, as in the past) the coating flakes off and makes a fairly large mess if you don’t catch it.

BUT...the caramel saves this bar. In fact, it makes it an enjoyable experience despite the way I trashed it in the last paragraph. That’s right--I enjoyed eating this bar. Because after the caramel kicks in (it’s a late bloomer), you really can’t taste much else. The almonds give it some crunch and a little taste, but they’re pretty muted tastewise, especially considering that nuts are usually very poignant. That just tells you how caramelly this bar is!

So, aside from the proteiny base and messy coating, this is a good bar. There’s no doubt it will fill you up--I’m not sure I’ve eaten one quite this heavy--and for caramel lovers, it’s a must-try.

Taste: 7--the base is quite proteiny, but the caramel saves it. The almonds surprisingly aren’t a big player.
Texture: 7--the dry, hard base needs some help, but the caramel is stringy and gooey and good, with the almonds adding some crunch.
Health: 7--it has 30 grams of protein, but it’s a little on the higher end of the calorie spectrum. It also contains a fair amount of sugar alcohols.
Eat Again? Yeah, but not much.

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