A couple of months ago, I get an email from a man named Phil asking if I would be nice enough to review an energy bar product. This was exciting, not only because I might get an opportunity to review a new product, but because it allowed me to test my Blogger Integrity by pointing out that, while I would be happy to accept some samples to test, not only am I not promising to give a positive review, but I am not promising to do a review at all. After all, I still have some 2 year-old gum base that I've done nothing with, and am kind of afraid to use now because I have no idea how long gum base lasts before it goes bad. Even so, Phil was quite confident in his product and braved my indifference, laziness, and/or displeasure. I think Roger Ebert would disapprove even so, but I'm no journalist, so I'll accept my free review copies where I can. Some untracked time later, but well before the end of 2008, I received a batch of Kind Plus Bars. The general theory behind kind bars is, to quote:
KIND Fruit + Nut bars are delicious snacks for a heart-healthy diet. Our handmade bars are packed with whole premium almonds, Brazilian nuts, walnuts, peanuts, and chunks of all-natural dried fruits held together with honey.The ingredients were mostly things accessible to the home cook, with the exotic ingredients being soy lecithin, glucose, and linseed chicory fiber. I know: it's scary. The rest is all fruit this, nut that, honey, flaxseed, blah blah blah. In a pinch, you could probably reproduce the bar at home if you were of the mind. I don't know that I'd say the same about a Power Bar. The taste is, by and large, fantastic. I tried the Mango Macadamia Kind Plus bar first, as it "won 'Best New Product' in the food category at Natural Products Expo East in Boston about a month ago." I figured, why not be impressed out of the gate? Ahh, ethics. KIND Plus Mango Macadamia, aside from being tasty, is overflowing with umami. At least, I'm pretty sure it was. I can't find any evidence that macadamia nut nor mango are particularly umami-laden, but I can't really explain it any other way. In any case, it's so good. Throughout the line, I find that the chewier bars are better. The only fruit and nut bar I wasn't all that excited about was the strawberry one. The all-nut bars, also not that great, and the sesame chocolate bar (which I bought with my own money) was likewise uninspiring. However, most of the bars were outstanding. I understand they're a little pricey in the store, but they are less than $2 each on average when you buy in packs of 12 on Amazon, and in many cases close to $1.50 each. To summarize, we have gone through most of our free samples, and are buying our own, so Phil's confidence was well-placed. Still, don't expect that I'll review your product as favorably if you send me a copy. Presume I'll hate it and make fun of it mercilessly, or just toss it in a corner and ignore it. Could happen. But for now, I eat my Kind Bars.