Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: Balance Bar Original Honey Peanut

I think it’s a bit cheap when companies make several versions of the same flavor that differ only slightly--like, by one word. For example, Breyers makes a cookies & cream ice cream. They also have an Oreo Blasts!, which is basically cookies & cream. Then there’s a chocolate Oreo Blasts!, also a Golden Oreo, Birthday Oreo (which I believe has been retired after Oreos turned 101), and mint chocolate Oreo. OK...that’s a lot of cookies & cream. Surely there must be something else people want in their ice cream?

Breyers is an extreme example. Balance Bar just has Honey Peanut and Yogurt Honey Peanut. The sole difference is the coating, but in this case it makes a big difference to me.

This bar has a chocolate coating, while the yogurt version has a white yogurt coating (go figure). This one looks like dark chocolate, but it’s hard to tell. It’s slightly chilled from being in my basement, and sometimes chocolate turns funny when it’s cold.

The inside just looks like plain old protein base. It doesn’t smell like much, perhaps a faint peanut and chocolate scent. No honey so far, except in the coloring.

Well, the honey stays well hidden throughout this bar. I think I can taste it, but it’s very subtle next to the stronger peanuts. The peanut flavor is well distributed throughout the bar, although the actual peanuts are fairly infrequent considering its size. They’re chopped up, so they don’t lend a whole lot of texture, although I did get one or two larger chunks that alerted me to the presence of the actual nuts (as opposed to just flavoring). They do a pretty good job of covering up the protein in the base, which is only discernible as a subtle hint. The chocolate coating is a nice complement to the peanut flavor; it’s kind of like eating a peanut cluster.

This bar is pretty soft, although mine was a bit firmer than usual due to the cold. Still, it was inviting and easy to chew. The occasional peanut chunk is a nice way to break up the otherwise uniform texture, and the chocolate provides a firm snap that is strangely satisfying. guessed it, I like the Yogurt Honey Peanut better. All because of the coating. You know how much I love yogurt-coated anything (or maybe you don
’t, so just FYI it’s a LOT). So I guess having multiple similar products isn’t always a bad thing.

Taste: 8--the honey is hard to distinguish, but the peanuts are very prominent.
Texture: 9--soft and chewy, with crunch from the occasional peanut.
Health: 8--maybe a little high in sugar, but it does provide balanced nutrition with 15 grams of protein and lots of vitamins and minerals. GoodGuide gives it an 8.3.
Eat Again? Nah, I’d go for the yogurt-coated version.

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