Today is a big day for the blog and if you didn't notice from the title of this post, this is review number one thousand in this blog's history, so if you'll indulge me for a few moments, I'm going to spend a little time dwelling on the milestone before I get into today's actual review.
Honestly, I can't believe I've written that many reviews and I've done it in a little over three years time. That's not epic, non-stop production like some blogs out there, but it's still a lot for one guy to take on (excuse me while I break my arm patting myself on the back) AND EAT. When I started this blog, I figured it would be something that I'd do sporadically for a few months and then move on with my life. Over three years, one thousand reviews, over 2.5 million page views and over 500,000 unique visitors later, I'm still here kickin' it. This blog has never been a super successful or overly read blog as those statistics show, but it's chugged along just enough to keep me going for all these years and reviews.
I'd be remiss if I didn't thank everyone that has gotten me this far because if it weren't for the fans whose visits generate revenue via the obnoxious display advertising that clogs and slows down the site, I would have given up this blog a long, long time ago. I realize that I've mailed some reviews in, not really given my best effort at times and I've even accidentally reviewed some products twice without even knowing it, so there have been times where it perhaps hasn't been worth visiting. Regardless, that just shows how awesome all of you are and I do want to say THANK YOU (again) for all your visits and support throughout the years.
Since this is the milestone one thousand, I figured I would call my masculinity into question (this is called Crazy Food DUDE) and review a product that is specifically targeted toward women as I've done many times before with LUNA bars. Still, despite the fact that I'm not female, I think it's okay for me to eat this...well, I'm going to declare that it's okay for me to try out this Skinnygirl Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bar that I picked up at Marsh for $2.49. Skinnygirl is kind of famous and maybe it's going to her head as she's put two mildly annoying taglines on the wrapper of this bar. First, this is referred to as a "Tasty Nutrition Bar" on the front of the wrapper. Should the judgment of whether something is tasty or not be at the discretion of the person eating it? Also, on the back/side of the wrapper, there was another tagline that said "Treat Yourself Healthy." Again, if I don't eat this bar, am I not treating myself healthy? And yet another thing, is a bar that is part of a company that was founded based on Skinnygirl alcoholic cocktails really able to decide what is treating my body healthy or not? And another thing...the founder of said company is a Real Housewife of New York (Bethenny Frankel), so that doesn't exactly make her a model citizen. Okay, I'm complaining in a ridiculously long diatribe about things that don't matter again, which is something I've done many times over the course of one thousand reviews, so I guess it's nothing new.
Anyway, this bar is 1.4 ounces and has 160 calories and six grams of protein. It's also gluten free (isn't seemingly everything now?) and also kosher, if you are into knowing that kind of information.
I've got to say that this bar did not look like what I expected once I took it out of the wrapper. I was expecting a bar that was fully encased in dark chocolate. Instead, this bar was a base of dark chocolate topped by a mix of oats, rice crisps, and handsomely-sized pretzels (Can I say handsome since this is a women's bar? Typically a handsome woman is not one you'd want to look at.) bound together by syrups. That mix was then topped with a decorative swirl of more dark chocolate on top of the bar. Basically, this looked kind of like a regular old granola bar with the added twist of chocolate, similar to the many, many Quaker products that I've looked at here on the blog. Outside of its visual characteristics, this one had a strong aroma of dark chocolate immediately after I took it out of the wrapper. So, despite the fact that there was not as much dark chocolate in this as I expected, the "limited" (according to my expectations versus reality) amount of dark chocolate did pack quite a punch from an aromatic perspective.
After I took my first bite, I was moderately surprised by how difficult to chew this was. Being that it looked similar to a Quaker granola bar, I expected that it would be soft and chewy like those bars too. I was mistaken. That said, it wasn't so tough that I couldn't chew it, so I don't want to set any false expectations. What made that slight difficulty to chew kind of interesting was the inclusion of the pretzels in the main mix of the bar. The pretzels provided a nice airy crunch, which did a good job breaking up the solidness of the oat/granola mix along with the melting dark chocolate that brought some added moisture to the mix. That was very much appreciated. In terms of flavor, there was a heck of a lot of dark chocolate in here. It tended to be toward the flat side in terms of flavor, thankfully, and didn't really touch that bitter flavor profile that dark chocolate can sometimes have. Avoiding that bitterness was helped along by the fact that there was a bit of vanilla in the primary mix of the bar and the very mild amount of salt in the pretzels also helped tame that.
Buy It or Fly By It? All in all, this was a pretty basic mix that almost got out of control with its dark chocolate (it's a superfood!) flavor, but was saved by the salty pretzels and the sweetness of the vanilla in the primary mix of the bar. With that I give this a BUY IT rating, which is a good way to show one of the many eating journeys that this blog has taken me on in one thousand reviews. When this blog first started, I basically hated anything involving dark chocolate. Over the course of time, I've grown to accept dark chocolate (I still don't particularly love it) and not really mind it, for the most part.
There's been several foods that have had that journey over the course of time through this blog (pineapple and coconut, among others), so going on that journey and being able to live it out through this blog has been fun. I don't know that I'll make it to two thousand reviews, but I'll keep this one going as long as it is still fun and interesting to me (having the time to do it might be kind of important too). Once again, I'll thank you for joining me on this journey so far and here's to many more to come.
One more thing (AGAIN)...I'm pretty sure this is the longest one product review post I've ever written. It's as if I was trying to combine 999 reviews into one post. If you've made it this far, you truly are a glutton for punishment. Ha!