Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review: CLIF Mojo Chocolate Almond Coconut Fudge Sweet & Salty Trail Mix Bar

Another day, another CLIF bar.  That's not the case, but CLIF has so many products that it just seems that way.  To me, they seem like the creme de la creme of the energy bar world...multiple flavors, multiple product lines, big publicity, etc.  They are just everywhere and have been everywhere all over this blog with reviews.  Today, I've got another review and this time is their CLIF Mojo Chocolate Almond Coconut Fudge Sweet & Salty Trail Mix Bar that I picked up on sale at Kroger for $1.00.  It's 1.59 ounces and comes in at 200 calories with eight grams of protein.

When I think of trail mix, I often think of tons of nuts and fruits.  CLIF thinks that way too, although they also think of soy crisps.  I don't know that I've seen a lot of soy crisp trail mixes in my life, but I'll play along for the sake of this review as this bar is primarily soy crisps.  Within that soy crisp mix are several large almonds and also several unsweetened chocolate chunks.  On top of the entire bar is a multitude of coconut shards and since they are tinged brown on the edges, they are clearly toasted coconuts (in the picture above, the top of the bar is currently the half on the right).  Some bars that I've had claim that the coconut is toasted but it looks like regular coconut, so I have my doubts.  I give CLIF credit because they clearly toasted these coconut shards since they do have that toasted look (or perhaps they just did a good job dying them?).  With that plethora of coconut shards came a very strong smell of coconut that was joined by a surprisingly strong and also quite unexpected smell of salt.  I know this is a Sweet & Salty bar, but I don't typically expect to smell salt in a bar like I did in this one.  That was new and very strange to me.

As I expected, the first and most prominent flavor I tasted in this bar after I bit into it was the coconut flavor. It was sweet, but also had that burnt flavor from the toasting that toned down the sweetness a bit and also tamed the overall coconut flavor, which can get strong at times.  The second flavor I tasted was salt and a whole lot of it.  I'm cool with salt, but this was a lot of salt and in some bites, it overpowered the sweet taste of the coconut.  I would think that CLIF would be looking to balance those two flavors out evenly, but that just wasn't the case all the time.  As for the the chocolate, it was only there for coating and an occasional crunch from the chunks as it had no flavor since it was unsweetened chocolate.  Where CLIF could have succeeded on this is by using semi-sweet chocolate in order to do a better job of balancing out the sweetness and saltiness of the bar.  The almonds were there for crunch and texture alone as they did not really bring any sort of flavor to the bar, but I was fine with that.  Since they were large coconuts, they did a good job breaking up the semi-soft soy crisp mix and actually made this kind of fun to chew through.

Buy It or Fly By It?  Despite the fact that I found the prevalence of salt to be overbearing at times in this bar, I did like it in general and give it a BUY IT rating.  The toasted coconut flavor was quite good and the pop from the almonds made this an enjoyable bar to work my way through.  That said, water is a necessity here or else you'll be dying of thirst soon after eating this one.


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