Sunday, August 11, 2013

Review: thinkThin crunch Bar Caramel Chocolate Dipped Mixed Nuts

I have covered most of thinkThin’s high protein bars already (excepting the mocha one, which I have no intention of buying because I hate coffee). But despite the fact that they have other lines, I have never felt the need to buy anything else. But for some reason, on the way through the Jackson Whole Grocer while on vacation, I felt the urge to pluck this thinkThin crunch Caramel Chocolate Dipped Nuts bar off the shelf.

There is something magical about the combination of chocolate and caramel. In fact, my favorite thinkThin protein bar is the Caramel Fudge, so this seemed like a good choice. It certainly smells like caramel, but it’s the same sweet, fake-ish, overly cloying smell of the Chocolate Caramel protein bar. The coating of chocolate along the bottom also looks disappointingly thin.

Nonetheless, this bar delivers on its name. First and foremost, the caramel, since it’s the first flavor to hit you. It’s glazed over everything and ever-present. Unlike the smell, it’s not cloying or way too sweet; the almonds and peanuts help mitigate that. The nuts assert their presence, but never more than the caramel.

The chocolate layer, though thin, also makes itself known, but in a subtler way. It tastes more dark than milk, with a nice, creamy, melty texture. Putting the coating on the bottom means that the chocolate kick comes at the beginning, making the first impression you get one of chocolate and caramel—which is great, considering those are the first two words in the description. I just wish the chocolate stuck around longer; it’s over way to fast for me!

The texture is a nut-granola bar hybrid. The nuts are crunchy in a way that only nuts are (sorry to be so vague, but anyone who’s eaten nuts knows their texture). But alongside those are crisps, which make this bar feel sort of like a Rice Krispies Treat. With nuts. Hmm, there’s a great marketing idea for Kellogg’s. This bar is harder to chew than a Rice Krispies Treat, but more satisfying for it, and not frustrating by any means. The combination of crunch and crisp helps break things up so you’re not bored.

Overall, it was pretty good. I still prefer the protein bars, but this was a cool way to change it up. I may have to try the rest of the crunch line at some point.

Taste: 8.5—if there was more chocolate, it would be perfect…but that’s just being greedy. There’s plenty of caramel to deliver on the sweet promise, while the nuts keep it from overdelivering.
Texture: 8—a nutty Rice Krispies Treat; the more solid crunch from the big almonds makes it satisfying.
Health: 8—you might balk at the fat content, but some of that is good fat from all the nuts. This certainly beats the usual snack-attack foods with 9 grams of protein; GoodGuide gives it a 6.7.
Eat Again? Yeah, if you gave me one.

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