It's amazing to me how many products Kroger gets me to try for the first time because they give them away for free. Usually, they give them away (and I review them) via their Free Friday Download promotion, but today's review of this Brookside Dark Chocolate Cherry With Pomegranate Flavor Fruit & Nut Bar was a freebie that Kroger was giving away just because. Not tied to any particular promotion or anything...it was just free. I like that. So, I happily grabbed my freebie and that leads me to take a look at this 1.4 ounce bar. Within that 1.4 ounces of gluten free fun (to be determined) is 180 calories and one gram of protein.
What is nice about this bar is that Brookside lays it all out there for you to see, starting with the clear packaging. It's obvious that this bar has a dark chocolate coated base and then the makeup of the bar is packed with almonds, dried cherries, oats and pumpkin seeds, all in abundant quantities. It smelled alternately of sweet cherries and salty pumpkin seeds and quite frankly, I was pretty excited to eat this because I knew it had all the qualities of the kind of bar I prefer (chewy with the occasional pop of nuts and then some melting coating).
Biting into this provided me exactly the eating experience I would have expected. It was chewy from the dried fruits and oats, grainy from the pumpkin seeds, had occasional pop from the almonds and then the dried cherries brought some more chewiness. All of that was then capped off by the melting dark chocolate, which brought moisture from melting also a bit more flavor. Now, the flavor was an initial hit of saltiness from the nuts and seeds that dissipated semi-quickly. That was then punctuated by sweet cherry taste that had a light slap of pomegranate tang coming on late. The chocolate, while mostly flavorless, did carry a bit of heaviness to it to work at taming all of the flavors, i.e. the sweetness, saltiness and tang.
Buy It or Fly By It? This was exactly as I expected it would be in all it's glory, so it gets a BUY IT rating. I very much enjoyed this bar because it had the right kind of sweetness and the right kind of saltiness to perfectly balance out the entire package. That's a difficult balance to attain at times, but this Brookside bar did exactly that. I can thank Kroger for turning me on to this new manufacturer for the first time and now I'm anxious to take a look at some of their other flavors that I've seen in the store.