Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: CLIF Pecan Pie Bar

Every year, CLIF puts out some seasonal offering bars right around the holidays and I've hit on those flavors in prior reviews.  This year, they added a new variant to those seasonal offerings with this CLIF Pecan Pie Bar and since I'd not had it before, I knew I had to give it a shot.  I picked it up at Kroger for $1.00  The bar is the standard CLIF bar offering weight of 2.4 ounces and also comes in with 260 calories and nine grams of protein.  It's obviously based on the decadent holiday treat (a true favorite of mine), so to say I was anxious to dive into this would be an understatement.

Ripping open the wrapper, one thing was clearly obvious...nothing about this looked like a pecan pie.  Granted, this is a CLIF bar and I can't really expect it to look like a pecan pie, but outside of the presence of pecans in the bar mix, it really had nothing that would be part of the typical pie at all.  One thing that really knocked me off after I smelled it and checked the ingredient list to confirm is that this "pecan pie" had cinnamon as one of the ingredients.  Huh?  I don't think I've ever had a pecan pie with cinnamon in it and I'm not sure that I'd ever want to.  As for the rest of the bar, those actual pecans in the standard CLIF Crunch mix were actually praline pecans, so I guess that is intended to bring some of the decadence and sweetness that one would ordinarily get from the namesake pie.  The bar was then topped with a white coating and maybe that's supposed to signify whipped cream on top of the slice of pie?  I don't know.

So as I took a bite of this, nothing about it reminded me of a pecan pie.  It had a semi-strong cinnamon flavor and the oat taste and chew of a typical CLIF bar.  The pecans had very limited flavor and since the little pecan pieces were so small, they didn't really bring any big crunch.  In fact, the texture of this was pretty much the same as any CLIF bar that I've ever had, so it wasn't really special.  The "whipped cream" topping brought no real flavor either, so this was basically just a typical CLIF bar with a little bit of a cinnammon kick.  Nothing wrong with that as that has proven to be a winning combination in bars past, but there's nothing particularly notable about this bar.

Buy It or Fly By It?  In terms of emulating the holiday pie, this bar really does not succeed all that well.  But, in terms of having decent flavor, it does succeed.  Because of that, this is a tough determination for me.  Do I go with how well it was named or how well it tasted?  I guess that since this is a food review blog, I should go on taste and since the taste was fairly solid, I'll give this a tepid BUY IT rating.  If you see this on the shelves, don't expect anything award winning or pie-like going in, but if you do grab it because you like CLIF bars in general, I think you'll like this one too.


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