Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: CLIF Builder's Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Bar

Let's face it...hazelnuts are kind of weird.  They pop up in products in all sorts of places, but I don't believe they've every truly been adopted as a beloved nut like almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc.  Quite frankly, I'm not even sure I like them.  One thing I know that I do like though is the hazelnut flavor syrup that I occasionally put in my morning coffee and I mostly like Nutella, so based on those, I am always intrigued when I see a new hazelnut product.  That curiosity about hazelnuts led me to add another CLIF review to this blog today with this look at a new product offering in this CLIF Builder's Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Bar that I was able to pick up at Kroger for $1.00.  Each bar is 2.40 ounces and builds in (get it?) 280 calories and 20 grams of protein.

I took this dense bar out of the wrapper and looked at it from the exterior, then broke it in half and looked at the exterior and I can certainly say that I was pretty bored.  You can see what the interior and exterior look like via my photo above and it's really not much.  It's an external coating of chocolate and within that is a base layer of soy crisps (packed with protein!) and above that is an almost peanut butter-like layer of hazelnut.  Basically, think of a lighter colored version of the aforementioned Nutella.  Outside of the visual appearance, I took a quick whiff and didn't smell much.  It was a bit chocolate, it was a bit nutty, but it was mostly nothing.  Not exactly the best start.

When I took my first bite, I was fully expecting to have my teeth broken as these hardcore protein bars are typically rock hard.  In the case of this bar, it was actually fairly easy to chew and I was impressed by that.  As for the flavor, it really was kind of like the appearance...there wasn't a whole lot to it.  The chocolate had very minimal flavor and seemed like it was primarily just there to melt.  The hazelnut layer had very mild nutty flavor mixed with something that I would almost describe as coffee-like, but it wasn't much.  It was barely there.  The soy crisp was pretty much as I'd expect.  Flavorless and just there for the protein and chewiness.

Buy It or Fly By It?  I'm not really sure what to say about this bar.  It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't good.  Frankly, this is just something you eat when you've got nothing else to eat because it was about as boring as it can get.  That gets this a FLY BY IT rating.  Like I said though, it's not horrible and if you are a hazelnut lover, perhaps this would be right up your alley.  In my experience though, it's not really worth anything.


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