You know what they say. There's a sucker born every minute. And if I'm in a grocery store, there is no doubt in my mind that I am unequivocally that sucker. New pizza from a brand we hate? I'm still buying it. Creepy, pig-based gelled meat in a dusty jar at the Asian grocery with an expiration date of 1999? It's already in the cart. I don't consider these purchases so much as impulse buys as they are investments. For my belly. This purchase, however, was too hard to resist. I mean, isn't it cute?! It's like a tiny, chubby, Lego block without the rivets. And for $2.89 at our co-op and a "five star" rating from Lake Champlain Chocolates, I expected greatness. And peanut butter.
Color me gauche, but like most chocolate-blooded Americans, my gold standard for a peanut butter + chocolate equation is a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I've had gourmet peanut butters, artisanal chocolates, and truffled sea salts, but nothing beats the precision and texture of a Reese's. It's like my McDonald's theory. It's engineered to perfection, like puppies and kittens and atomic bombs, to completely know your consumer inside and out and be able to hit their desired targets in one swoop. Such is the Reese's.
So, with that being said, this candy bar had a tall order to fill. And after a dinner of homemade pasta and sauce, what could be better? Well, the Lake Champlain Five Star Peanut Bar was aptly named. As we broke into it, the bar was studded throughout with whole peanuts. Dissected, it resembled layers of an edible sedimentary rock. They packed quite a few into such a small bar. Unfortunately, the flavor of the roasted peanuts was greatly diminished by the filling that surrounded it, like receiving a gigantic package in the mail only to discover that 90% of it is packing peanuts. No pun intended. The "peanut butter" inside was more like a thick peanut buttercream icing. It was rich and oily in the mouth, but with little flavoral payoff. The texture was crumbly, but not in a tender, moist, peanut butter way, but in more of a flaky halvah sense. It wasn't very flavorful at all and overwhelmed both the chocolate and peanuts. If the ingredients were of a high quality, it really didn't show.
The saving grace in this candy bar was definitely the rice crunchies. They added an extra crisp to the bar and a pleasantly wheaty flavor that somehow got past the peanut butter. Really, though, I saw no difference between this bar and substandard bars for a cheaper price. Keepitcoming liked it enough to muster up a six. For me, unless they throw in small pieces of Champ on top, it's staying there.
Labels: 6, chocolate, dessert, snack