Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: CLIF Iced Gingerbread Energy Bar

I've already covered the two other seasonal offerings by CLIF in my reviews of the Peppermint Stick bar and the Spiced Pumpkin Pie bar, so now it is time for the final review of the offerings, the Iced Gingerbread bar.  Ordinarily, I'm not the world's biggest fan of gingerbread (I tolerate it), so I'm curious to see how this one turns out.  As usual with CLIF bars, it's 70% organic and is the standard 2.4 ounces in weight.  It contains 250 calories and nine grams of protein as well.  I picked this one up at a crazy sale at Kroger for $0.50.

In the picture, you can't really tell, but there is a lot going on in this bar in terms of ingredients.  Looking at the ingredient list, the highlights included pecans (visible, decent-sized and spread well throughout the bar), raisins (add stickiness to bar; spread fairly well), CLIF Crunch mix (oat/soybeans; oat pieces are clearly visible), CLIF Pro mix (rice crisp mix), crystalized ginger (yellowish in color and spread sporadically throughout the bar), cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and finally all topped by a white icing.  Whew, that's just the highlights.  Reading the label took me a lot longer than it took me to type that, so there's clearly a lot going on with this one.

As with most CLIF bars, the overwhelming mouthfeel of this one is chewiness which can be attributed to the oat mix and also the raisins.  The one thing that this bar has that most CLIF bars do not have though is the crunch of the pecans and that was very much appreciated, especially since gingerbread is traditionally a crunchy treat.  As for the rest of the bar, I would classify its taste as hearty as it doesn't really give you any sort of sweet kick unless you end up biting into one of the crystalized ginger pieces.  If you do, be prepared for a big shot of sweet.  Those are spread so sporadically that you will rarely encounter this though.  As for it's comparison to gingerbread, well it is reasonable.  The nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger tastes are there, but they are not strong and get you more at the back end of the bite as opposed to the front end.  As someone who has spoken of their dislike of nutmeg before, I appreciated that the flavor was not overwhelming.  Overall, this bar was delightful.  It was a mild and pleasant re-creation of gingerbread that hit on nearly every mark that it intended too.  Unfortunately, it did miss on one mark and that was the icing.  I really couldn't taste any sort of icing flavor in this at all and being that this was what I would describe as a hearty bar, I would say that a little sweet kick would have been nice.  It stinks, but it really didn't have a major impact on the bar overall and was really only a minor inconvenience.

Buy It or Fly By It?  BUY IT.  This is a nice little reminder of a holiday treat and it's worth yours (and my) attention.  It almost makes me restore my faith in gingerbread and I may actually drift toward some at the various Christmas celebrations I'll be attending this holiday season.  Actually, who am I kidding?  I would eat it anyway.  Ha!  Time for me to go start building some gingerbread houses now...


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