Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Larabar uber Dark Chocolate Turtle Sweet and Salty Fruit & Nut Bar

I don't know about you, but I find Turtle ice cream sundaes fascinating.  The mix of pecans, hot caramel, hot fudge and vanilla ice cream mixed together is just an awesome flavor combination and given my choice of sundaes, I think I'd choose that one 95% of the time.  So, it was with great delight that I found another subject for another Larabar review (after a VERY LONG absence) that was apparently trying to model itself after that sundae according to the name.  With high hopes, I grabbed this Larabar uber Dark Chocolate Turtle Sweet and Salty Fruit & Nut Bar off the shelves of my local Kroger for $1.00.  Each bar is 1.42 ounces, 220 calories and has five grams of protein.  It's also gluten free and kosher, so there is that.

If you look closely at the wrapper, you'll see that it says that the visuals of this bar are "enlarged to show uberness."  Alrighty then.  Anyway, that enlarged awesomeness didn't quite show me that this bar really had two different looks.  On the top of the bar, there was a plethora of chocolate chips scattered throughout (the half on the left).  On the bottom of the bar, (the half on the right) it was primarily all nuts that were included in this bar.  Now, a typical Turtle sundae only includes pecans.  Interestingly, Larabar decided to include pecans, almonds and cashews (and A LOT of them).  I love nuts and the inclusion of any and all of them, but doesn't including all those nuts defeat the purpose of the name?  Also, the name would imply those chips are dark chocolate chips, but when I looked at the ingredients, it said they were semi-sweet chips.  HUH?!  Doesn't that also defeat the purpose of the name?  Oh well, I guess it doesn't truly matter and I'm just splitting hairs here for no reason.  Out of the wrapper, the bar had a strong smell of chocolate and also a bit of a salty smell from the sea salt that was included with the molasses and brown rice syrup that bound this bar together and made it sticky to the touch.  There were also some dates in here for the fruit portion of the bar and while that is entirely not Turtle, I'll let it slide.  Okay, enough complaining about interpretations of the name...I guess I should be most concerned about how it tasted.

After my first bite, I can site this tasted really good.  The nuts brought a lot of salty crunch, but there were so many of them that none of the nut flavors really stood out over the others.  With that crunch was the chewy sweetness of the dried dates and then the decadent and melting sweetness of the chocolate chips that coated the plethora of nuts.  The molasses also brought out some additional sweetness to counteract the saltiness of the nuts and sea salt.  What was nice about this bar is that it truly did have a very good balance of sweetness and saltiness and that doesn't always happen, despite the best intent of manufacturers.  The fact that this bar fulfilled that goal is a credit to them.

Buy It or Fly By It?  Quite honestly, I loved this bar so it of course gets a BUY IT rating.  I can think of no more of a triumphant way for Larabar to have made it back to this blog after a long absence then by re-debuted with something as delicious as this.  If you see this on the shelves of the store, do not hesitate to grab it because, like I said, this strikes the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness that makes for a yummy snack and or light meal replacement when you are on the go.  The name got me excited going in and after eating it, I was just as excited and delight (perhaps more) than I was going in.  Well done, Larabar.  This truly was uber.


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