Food manufacturing is like one big game of follow the leader. Everyone copies everyone's ideas and it's just a vicious circle. You make a non-coated bar, I make a non-coated bar. You make a Greek yogurt bar, I make a Greek yogurt bar. You make a savory bar, I make a savory bar. Anyway, you get the picture. That's why it should come as no surprise that today's review subject is another bar in the line of another one of those trends...non-coated savory bars. I've looked at varieties from other manufacturers previously, but today adds to the Balance Bar review catalog as I take a look at their version with this review of the Balance Bar Bare Sweet & Spicy Nut Bar that I was able to pick up at Meijer for $1.00. Each bar is 1.19 ounces and has 160 calories and four grams of protein. It's also gluten, soy and dairy free.
Being that this is from the Bare product line, it should come as no surprise that this bar's ingredients are out there for the entire world to see. As you can see, those ingredients include a smattering of nuts (almonds and peanuts), seeds (pumpkin), fruits (raisin) and also something you can't see very closely, but you can definitely smell with the ground chipotle pepper and also ground paprika. What was interesting is that there wasn't really a spicy smell as it was mostly a peanut/nutty smell. It was also quite sticky, which I guess was a by-product of all the syrups binding this together.
Before I bit into this, I had an underlying fear that I'd be overcome by the spicy portion of this bar. Fortunately, that was definitely not the case as the primary flavor component of this bar was peanut. It was so primary that nutty flavor was all that I really tasted. Those nuts obviously made this crunchy and the inclusion of the pumpkin seeds added some graininess to it as well. Those raisins that were in the mix added a bit of soft chewiness to the bar too, so there were all sorts of textures in this. As for the spices that I was afraid of, they were not really present until the aftertaste of the bar and they come in only a very moderate amount. It was a smoky chipotle pepper type of flavor and it wasn't particularly spicy. Since I'm not the world's biggest fan of savory bars, I every much appreciated that. It did linger, but not so much that it stayed with me forever, which was a positive.
Buy It or Fly By It? I feared this bar going in, but in the end, it was actually pretty good and gets a BUY IT rating. While not overly spicy, the peanut and spice flavor reminded me of a Thai flavor profile and Balance Bar really could have done a better job of playing that up by inserting Thai into the name somewhere. Regardless, this was a nutty bar with a hint of spice and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a mild, but tasty savory bar.