Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: Rise Crunchy Honey Walnut Breakfast Bar

As a kid, one of the worst things that I can remember hearing was "rise and shine" coming from my mom's mouth.  I wanted to sleep and I didn't want to wake up, dammit!  Why couldn't she understand that?!  Okay, I say that in jest, but when I saw these Rise Crunchy Honey Walnut Breakfast Bars pop up in my local Meijer for $1.25, I was taken back to those moments from my childhood.  Each of these bars comes in at 1.4 ounces with 160 calories and four grams of protein.  Rise also promotes them via the wrapper as "hearty chunks of fruit and nuts to fuel your morning" and then adds in another nugget via their website that states "Honey—a quick start for hour one. Fruit—big chunks to digest slower for hour two. Nuts—sustained energy for hour three."  Wow, they've really put a lot of thought into their story behind this baby.

After unwrapping this, my first observation was that this looked strikingly similar to a Larabar in terms of appearance and also the limited mix of ingredients.  In this one, it follows the similar recipe with fruits (raisins) and nuts (walnuts) being held together by a date paste mixed with honey and other assorted ingredients (salt, soy crisps).  One remarkable thing about this was the walnuts in this were HUGE.  I don't think I've ever seen walnut chunks in a bar that were as big as the ones in this one.  There were so huge that I could even smell them, which rarely ever happens with walnuts unless they are standing alone (in my experience).  Also visible in the mix of the bar were tiny morsels of raisins and then a hint of honey smell.

That hint of honey smell represented itself a bit more in the actual taste of the bar in that it was slightly stronger and added some additional sweetness to the raisins that were already in the mix.  Even though this bar had crunchy in the name, I still fully expected it to be chewy with occasional crunch based on my prior experiences with Larabars.  Well, my expectations were completely off base because this bar had more crunch than chew in it and that was because of those HUGE aforementioned walnuts.  Not a bite could go by with out me having to crunch my way through one and that was a lot of fun for me to eat.  What was equally astounding was the fact that the walnuts had incredibly strong taste.  Like I said earlier, my experience is that walnuts are a weak nut (flavor and smell), but the walnuts in here were like Hercules...there was no weakness to them at all.  I can't say whether that is good or bad, but it was just different because I don't expect to taste walnuts usually.

Buy It or Fly By It?  I have a friend that is put off by the taste of walnuts, so he would not enjoy this bar at all.  On the other hand, I don't love walnuts, but I don't necessarily mind them either, so I'll give this a BUY IT rating.  Your enjoyment level of this will depend entirely on your enjoyment level of walnuts, so don't say I didn't warn you if you do decide to try it out.  I enjoyed the walnuts, so I enjoyed this bar.  As for the three hour cycle that this said it would put me through...well, I was sleeping before the three hour mark hit.  I guess it didn't wake me up very well, although it did provide a tasty snack.  Ha!


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