Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: KIND Nuts & Spices Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Bar

If you are a regular reader of the blog, you've noticed that the KIND reviews have picked up recently.  I'll be the first to say that is the result of my local Kroger changing up their flavor variety and finally giving me more opportunities for reviews.  Good for me and good for the blog since KIND bars generally have a solid reputation here.  With that prize-winning introduction done, it's time to segue into this review of the KIND Nuts & Spices Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Bar that I was able to pick up at the aforementioned Kroger for $1.49.  Each bar is 1.4 ounces and has 200 calories and five grams of protein.  It's also all natural and gluten free, among other things, so it's got that going for it too.

The clear packaging of KIND bars always makes my job easy, but there are still some things to point out regarding this bar.  First, it did have a nice amount of dark chocolate as it had a dark chocolate coated base and also more dark chocolate "icing" in the decorative swirl on top of the bar.  As for the pecan portion of the bar, I'd say that KIND really cheated themselves by limiting the name to just pecan because there were A LOT of other nuts in here, including peanuts and cashews.  The peanuts were so prevalent that their smell really overpowered everything in this bar, even the cinnamon which I couldn't really smell at all, even when I held it directly next to my nose to take a sniff.  Yes, the salty peanut smell was that strong and that's surprising because cinnamon does not get overpowered often.

One thing I noticed as I was chewing through this and then re-looking at the bar to verify what I was feeling in my mouth, there was a lot of airiness in this bar.  It wasn't because of rice/soy crisps like usual (there were those in this bar), but this time it was because there were some actual gaps in the bar itself because the size of the nuts didn't allow KIND to make this as tightly compacted as most of their bars.  I couldn't care less about that as long as the bar comes in at weight, but that was something that I found unique about this.  As for the rest of the bar, that airiness was punctuated by nearly constant crunch from that plethora of large nuts.  Those nuts also made this bar quite salty and once again, the cinnamon was overpowered by that salty taste that was led by the peanut flavor.  That cinnamon flavor was there, but it was only at the very end of each bite as a slight accent flavor.  It definitely wasn't the star as I would have expected.  As for the dark chocolate, it was mainly just flat and didn't really bring a lot to the party other than that fact that it melted over the nuts to bring a somewhat decadent quality to the chewy and crunchy bar, which was nice.  One other side note is that this bar did have a degree of sweetness to it, but I'm not quite sure where it was coming from.  Regardless of its source, I did appreciate that little hint of sweet.

Buy It or Fly By It?  In the end, this bar was salty but it wasn't salty enough that it ruined it for me. Because of that and also the fact that this had an ever so slight degree of sweetness (it could have used just a slight amount more), I'm going to give this a BUY IT rating.  I really appreciate how crunchy KIND bars can be and the crunchiness of this bar with it's plethora of huge nuts made me appreciate that yet again.  I've got to's a nice little niche that they've carved out for themselves (in my mind).


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