Monday, May 13, 2013

Review Recharge Bar Chocolate + Caramel

Lately I haven’t been buying many new protein/nutrition bars to try. No, it’s not because I’ve finally gotten sick of trying them, or because I’ve eaten my way through State College’s entire stock. It’s because I keep getting free ones.

For example, I recently received a sample pack from Recharge containing one of each of their three flavors: Raspberry + Apple, Chocolate + Caramel, and Peanut + Caramel. Each one is 100 calories and has 8 grams of protein. I started out with the Chocolate + Caramel.

That’s pretty good, considering that if you eat two, that would put you at 200 calories and 16 grams of protein, which is about on par with Balance Bar.

Granted, they’re really small, but what are you expecting for 100 calories? Still, I bet two of them would be roughly the size of that Quest bar it’s next to (Coconut Cashew if anyone’s interested). I just can’t get over how small they are, and how many people say they swear by them and that they stay full. Something doesn’t add up.

Well, it does look appetizing. The caramel inside is gooey, with a chocolate-colored base and chocolate coating. It smells like milk chocolate, and it’s important to note that the photos may be deceiving: this bar is really thin as well. So you’re not going to get a nice, big, crispy or chewy base layer here. It’s about equal parts base and caramel, but both are thin layers.

This bar actually reminded me of a fun-size Heath bar. It’s about the same size (a little longer), and has a slightly buttery taste to the caramel. It’s sort of crispy, but largely gummy and sticks in your teeth, but that’s not from the caramel. (Yes, I know there is no caramel in a Heath bar.) It’s a bit unexpected for such a little base layer to give you such a workout, but it just doesn’t give up! The caramel, on the other hand, is oozy and almost liquid, which adds a really cool “squirt factor” to the whole experience.

The chocolate coating takes a backseat, which I also find odd because it’s the majority of this little guy. I guess the caramel was just so flavorful and the base so sticky that the coating gets overridden.

This is a great little snack. I could tell I wasn’t eating a candy bar, which usually happens when you try to shove a bunch of protein into something while minimizing sugar and calories and other ingredients people tend to avoid. But would I buy it? Probably not. Sorry Recharge, it’s good, but not that good.

Taste: 9--the caramel is definitely emphasized, although you can tell it’s a “protein” bar. I would have liked more chocolate flavor from the coating.
Texture: 8--sort of like a soggy Heath bar, with a crispy/gummy base. The liquid, oozing caramel is what really brings the score up here.
Health: 8--there’s only so much you can cram into something that’s only 100 calories, but they certainly do a good job. There are 8 grams of protein, plus fiber, and only 1 gram of sugar.
Eat Again? Probably, but I can’t justify buying them.

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