So lately Amazon has been selling these sort of variety boxes filled with samples in various categories. There have been cleaning supplies, male and female grooming products, cookies, snacks, flavored syrups, etc. They change between $5 and $10 for them but once you receive the box they credit your account with the purchase price as long as you use it to order something from the box's category. So far, I've tried the snack box, the jerky box, the cookie box, the flavored syrup box, and now the snack bar box and the protein bar box. The results of the last two are pictured above. I figured I'd slowly work my way through the box and try to figure out what's palatable and what is unmitigated horror.
Years and years ago at a local convention called Dexcon, all the attendees received in their swag bag something called Soy Joy.
Without a mass spectrometer I can't say for sure whether the bar actually contained any Soy. I can, however, tell you without any doubt there was no Joy in it. If my memories serve, and it's possible that my taste buds may have blacked out for a period after the first bite, it was heinous. There was no redeeming value at all in that compressed bar of vileness and putrescence. It wasn't just the particular flavor I tried either, mind you. People at the table I was sitting at were more than willing to donate their bars to the taste test after seeing my spazmatic response to the first, suggesting with no sincerity that maybe the others would be better. So as far as I'm concerned, Soy Joy is about as low as things can go. It's possible that food technology has gotten better in the decade or so since....I mean, I remember veggie hot dogs from that era that no sane person could have suggested were food and nowadays they're just not great as compared to ralph-inducing.....and it's possible they're better. I'm never going to try and find out though.
That said, I figured I would eat my way through the box and see how it goes. I decided to start with the Cliff, Organic Trail Mix, Bar: Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt. Since I hadn't been planning to blog this crap when I started, I have no pictures of the bar in mid consumption or anything like that but I'm happy to report it all went down just fine. The bar itself was quite pleasant, though perhaps a bit too sweet if you consume large bites rather than titrating your dose. According to the nutritional information there are 200 calories, 13g of fat, 19g total carbs, and 5g of protein. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise that if something tastes like a candy bar, it'll pretty much have the nutritional breakdown of a candy bar. 200 calories is a little more than what you would find in Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast (190) or an Original Recipe Drumstick (160). [I've been obsessing about KFC lately so I've been thinking of everything food related as to how it relates to a bucket of KFC]. I think I'd rather eat the chicken. Still, this is a taste test, not a which would you rather gorge on, and overall I would say the Cliff Bar did quite well. 4 out of 5 stars.