Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: KIND Nuts & Spices Madagascar Vanilla Almond Bar

Based on the number of yogurt reviews around here lately (there are more in queue), one could think that the only thing that I do these days is eat yogurt and it sure seems that way to me.  Fortunately, I do manage to mix something else in every once in a while and today is one of those times as I'm packing in another KIND review.  Now, ordinarily I tend to stay away from products that are boring and vanilla (get the joke?), but the presence of a "special" kind of vanilla got me to grab this KIND Nuts & Spices Madagascar Vanilla Almond Bar off the shelf at Kroger for the sale price of $1.00.  The bar itself is 1.4 ounces and has 210 calories and seven grams of protein.  Like most KIND bars, it's also gluten free and all natural.

As with all KIND bars, this one lays it all out there for everyone to see not only by having a clear wrapper, but also by having all the ingredients uncovered and visible to the naked eye.  In the case of this bar, it's quite obvious that there are a lot of large nuts packed in here in the form of almonds (obviously), cashews, peanuts and walnuts.  What's also obvious is that there's quite a bit of Madagascar Vanilla spread throughout this as you can clearly see the specks of vanilla attached to the nuts, the sticky honey holding the bar together, etc.  The bar itself also had a nice and mild smell of vanilla, which was very enticing.  By the way, I bought this bar because I thought it was special because it was named with "Madagascar Vanilla."  Turns out that in my ineptitude, I didn't know that Madagascar Vanilla is actually the world's most common form of vanilla, so there really isn't anything special about this bar at all except that KIND pulled a marketing trick on me by making it seem exotic by adding Madagascar.  Once again, I've been duped!

In terms of flavor this bar had great crunch from all of the nuts, as I would have expected.  It had a hint of almond and also a hint of salty cashew and peanut, so it was a great mix.  On top of all that was a nice taste of vanilla that not only brought sweetness, but played well off of whatever saltiness that the nuts were providing.  That sweetness was also helped by the presence of the honey in the bar, but despite the honey, the sweetness was clearly vanilla flavored and while I wouldn't have cared whether it was honey or vanilla-flavored either way, I did enjoy the vanilla flavor coming out of this as it punctuated each bite.

Buy It or Fly By It?  In the end, this bar was rather vanilla (ha, ha, I crack myself up) but it was a good vanilla that I enjoyed, so I'll give it a BUY IT rating.  This bar is ultimately a crunchy snack with some almond and vanilla flavor, just as the name would imply, and it's a nice flavor that would be pretty much enjoyable for all.  Unfortunately, it's just not exotic like my foolish self would have expected based on the name.  Boy, I really need to do a better job of educating myself.


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