Friday, February 19, 2016

Review: Nature Valley Sweet & Spicy Chili Dark Chocolate Bars

I've been getting a lot of products from Marsh recently in the clearance section.  I don't think it is because the products are terrible but instead because Marsh has a real problem controlling their expiration dates and keeping food fresh.  So, I guess I bring this up because you should just ignore the clearance sticker on these products going forward and instead focus on the product itself.  Today, I'm adding to my Nature Valley review collection with this review of a box of six Nature Valley Sweet & Spicy Chili Dark Chocolate Bars.  Each bar in the box is 1.24 ounces and has 160 calories with three grams of protein.

Dry bags

I'll copy the description verbatim from the front of the box as it made me laugh:  "dipped in chocolate flavored coating with dark chocolate, nuts, seeds and cayenne pepper!" The exclamation point at the end is what made me laugh in case you were wondering.  Anyway, I can tell you that the vaguely named nuts are peanuts and almonds.  The vaguely named seeds are pumpkin seeds.  Both of those nuts and seeds groupings are amply spread throughout the bar, as you can see above.  There are also flecks of cayenne pepper that you can kind of see but can definitely smell.  The peanuts give off their typical salty and nutty smell as well.  From a presentation perspective, Nature Valley did a good job compacting a whole bunch of ingredients into 1.24 ounces of bar.

Biting into this, there was immediate crunch and saltiness from the pumpkin seeds, peanuts and almonds.  The chocolate then coated that and brought some sweetness to the package.  What the chocolate also did was tame the spicy cayenne pepper that came on late to each bite.  Had it not been for the chocolate, the cayenne pepper spice may have very well overtaken this bar.  It did not do that though and while the addition of cayenne pepper was definitely interesting, it wasn't a turn off.

Buy It or Fly By It?  While this was not may favorite bar that I've ever eaten and I found the presence of the cayenne pepper to be quite curious (not a huge fan of the sweet and spicy combination), I found this bar to be tasty enough to get a BUY IT rating.  If sweet and spicy mixed together is your thing, then I think you'll enjoy this bar, especially since it has the added component of saltiness.  If spice is not your thing, you'll probably want to stay away from this.


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