It's not often that I stroll into the meathead section of my local Kroger as I mostly stay in the section with the normal protein/nutrition bars like CLIF, etc. In the meathead section is where you find the hardcore stuff like MET-Rx and something that I found recently in this Body Fortress Energy Peanut Butter Caramel Protein Bar. When I went to their website, I saw that this was a new product, so that would obviously explain why I have never seen this before in my infrequent trips into the section. Ever curious, I picked up this bar for $1.25 and it comes in at 1.52 ounces, has 180 calories and also ten grams of protein.
The wrapper doesn't give any indication as to what this bar is going to look like, so I was flying blind on this one. What I got when I tore open the wrapper was something that kind of looked like a normal nutrition bar and kind of looked like a hardcore protein bar. To me, it was a weird combination. Basically, the bulk of this bar was the typical soy/rice crisp base and that was all bound together with a strong smelling peanut butter. On top of that mix was what I assume to be the caramel layer, although it was hard and almost like a brittle. It also smelled nothing like caramel, so if that is indeed what the caramel was supposed to be, it was a failure in that aspect. Stuck into what I thought was that caramel brittle were a sparse amount of random chocolate chips, which were completely unexpected based on the name of the product. It's almost as if the people at Body Fortress were in the middle of manufacturing this and then at the last minute, they decided the bar was too plain and threw some chocolate chips in as the caramel (?) brittle was setting. It was just strange, or so I thought.
As I bit into this bar, the first thing I tasted was peanut butter and I was perfectly fine with that. The soy/rice crisp part of this bar was well done and the peanut butter flavor was strong and leaned more toward salty peanut butter taste rather than sweet. I can't say the same about the rest of the bar as I'm not quite sure how to classify it it, meaning I can't say it was good or bad. The caramel (?) crunched and broke up like a piece of brittle when I bit into it and other than breaking up like brittle, the only other characteristic that it had was that it stuck to my teeth as I was trying to chew through it. It certainly had no flavor. As for the chocolate chips, they definitely tasted like chocolate chips, but it was almost as if they were stale as they were extremely crunchy and did not get soft at all when you chewed through them as chocolate chips often do. It was just weird.
Buy It or Fly By It? While this wasn't exactly a glowing review, I can say that as a whole, this bar was not that bad and gets a BUY IT rating. It can thank the peanut butter for that rating because had the peanut butter flavor not been so appetizing, this bar would have no redeeming qualities whatsoever and the rest of the bar was just boring tasting and weird composed. I think the fact that I'm a peanut butter freak and had a craving skewed this rating, so if you don't have a craving and/or are not a peanut butter freak, I'm guessing the chances are good that you'd feel differently than I do.