Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: KIND Nuts & Spices Dark Chocolate Chili Almond Bar

I know the mixture of dark chocolate and chili is en vogue now in the culinary world and I just don't get it.  One of the worst eating experiences I ever had came when I ate a piece of chocolate that had those two flavors.  It made me sick to my stomach and the worst part was that I couldn't get the flavor out of my mouth for hours.  It was HORRIBLE.  So, with that less than positive experience under my belt, to say I was apprehensive about embarking on another KIND bar review with this review of the KIND Nuts & Spices Dark Chocolate Chili Almond Bar would be an understatement.  Still, KIND was kind enough (get the joke there?) to provide me with a free sample, so I at least had to give it a try.  Numerically, this bar is 1.4 ounces and has 200 calories with six grams of protein.

This is from KIND's Nuts & Spices line of bars, so naturally there are nuts and spices in here.  For the nut component, there are huge almonds, decent-sized cashew bits, decent-sized pecan bits and decent-sized peanut bits.  As you can see in the photo above, they definitely did not short the amount of nuts in this bar, so that is a definite positive for the nut lovers of the world.  As for the spices, they all revolve around chili in the name and if you look closely enough at the nuts, you can see the ground spices adhering to the nuts with a mixture of honey.  Those spices are ground up powders of ancho, cascabel and habanero chilis.  Yep, habanero chilis...this one was going to have a bit of heat to it.  If those chilis weren't enough, there was also some cinnamon in here to amp up the heat as well.  Oh boy.  As you can see in the photo above, all of this mix of nuts and spices were planted on top of a dark chocolate coated base and then there was another dark chocolate swirl on top for decoration.  When I took a whiff of this bar, it had no smell of chocolate or chili whatsoever, which was very surprising.  The smell it did have smelled primarily of salty nuts, specifically peanuts.  Based on the sheer abundance of nuts in the bar, I guess that shouldn't have been surprising, but I guess I expected more chili smell.

Not surprisingly, this bar was extremely crunchy and had a strong (and salty) nut flavor.  The presence of sea salt in the ingredient mix also upped that salty factor as I chewed my way through the bar, although what wasn't upped were the dark chocolate and chili flavors.  The dark chocolate was more of just a coating because the flavor was non-existent.  The chili flavor, on the other hand, kind of snuck up on me.  Just about when I was ready to proclaim the chili flavor a no show in this bar and claim that the honey canceled it out, it came up on me in the aftertaste and just kept coming and coming and coming.  Eventually it just lingered in my mouth and had I not had a glass of water nearby, I may have been overcome.  Thankfully, this wasn't like my previous chocolate bar experience and the water quickly washed away the chili flavor.  Still, the lingering heat was not something that I expected based on my initial bite and a figment of my imagination.  I took a few more bites and this process repeated itself each time, so this was not just a one-off.  This was the actual flavor of the bar.

Buy It or Fly By It?  While this late arriving chili happened to be the flavor of the bar, it's not my kind of flavor, so I give this a FLY BY IT rating.  I'm not going to say that this was a bad bar, but the mix of chili and chocolate in a snack bar is not something that I particularly enjoy.  That's my personal preference though.  If you are a chili-head or enjoy chili at all in your snack bars, this one will be right up your alley.



  1. Totally agree can't understand why people are putting chili in chocolate. some savory works but not spicy eeeewwww :)

  2. I think the whole chili in chocolate thing is an attempt at a throwback to the ingredients that the Mayan's used to put in their hot chocolate. Personally I enjoy the dark chocolate chili flavor combination and plan to seek out these Kind bars. Plus Kind bars just plain rock in general.

  3. I LOVE these bars, and while I try not to buy KIND bars all of the time because they are expensive, I just can't help myself with these chili ones. The heat is as described, kind of sneaks up on you at the end, but it's not really spicy, just a kind of pleasant heat to make it interesting. It sounds like the reviewer doesn't like spicy foods; if you do like chili/spicy foods, definitely give this one a try!


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