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Regrained Chocolate Stout SuperGrain Bar – “EAT BEER”

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From beer comes food

The crew over at Regrained has done something unexpected and amazing:  up-cycling brewery grains to make snack bars.  Right.  They run off with the grains that are left after brewing beer and use them as a base for food.  It works like this: fermentation of beer consumes most of the sugars in the mash, but leaves behind plenty of good stuff like protein, fiber and micro-nutrients.  Regrained’s patent-pending process uses what’s left to make satisfying snack bars.

Great story, but how do they taste?  They make three flavors now and I’ve honed in on the Chocolate Coffee Stout bar for obvious reasons.  This review won’t follow the usual format exactly since these are not solid chocolate bars.  Still, I thought you guys should know about this food innovation.

AROMA: There’s a lot going on here.  Peel open the end of the package and sniff.  Wow.  It’s like having a picnic in tall grass with a friend drinking sangria, another else having squash soup and another person smoking a cigarette off in the field.  Never had a picnic like that?  That’s the point – these are not like any common snack bar from the supermarket.  Notes: malt, tomato, strawberry, beer, pumpkin, tobacco, brandy.

MIDDLE TASTE: More chocolate and coffee than stout, but you get this sudden

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There’s a multitude of flavors in these little bars

brewery taste about three-fourths of the way through.  It’s a really interesting mix of flavors with just enough sugar to balance out the slight bitterness of coffee and grain.

FINISH:  Finally you arrive at breakfast cereal, my go-to comfort food.

TEXTURE:  It’s chewy, but in a satisfying way.  You don’t need to work so hard that your jaw aches because the bars are thin.  Even better, they don’t fall apart and sprinkle crumbs into your lap.  I take these bars when I travel because I usually can’t make it to the food service on long-haul flights before I get hungry.  What I hate is a bar that crumbles all over my shirt so I walk off the plane looking like I’ve been swimming in a box of Cracker Jacks.  The Regrained bars don’t have such messy problems.

LAST BITE:  Thumbs up.  I eat a ton of snack bars – two to three per day – because I have a hyperactive metabolism and need to even out my blood sugar so I can do important stuff like, um,  thinking.   This is not the only bar I eat, but it allows me to add some variety into the mix along with the bars I buy from Trader Joe’s.  I like that they taste completely different than the other more sugar-heavy bars and that they are more compact and portable.  I also like that they are up-cycling good food, using sustainable packaging and are members of 1% for the Planet.  Regrained SuperGrain Bars are available online at the Regrained website and limited retailers around the US.

Notes:

[1] Disclosure – I hold a tiny equity stake in this company.

[2] Cracker Jack is a trademark of Frito-Lay North American, Inc.

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Antidote Raw 100% with Dates Dark Chocolate

Antidote 100 plus dates_cor1I normally taste chocolate for these reviews first thing in the morning before I eat anything, and this time was no different. I set up some space to taste while my pallet came back to life after a deep winter’s sleep.  One whiff of this darkest of chocolates and I was immediately awake and hungry.  I couldn’t help but to dive into the tasting curious to discover how the bits of dates would enhance the chocolate – would they provide sweetness or just an accent?

Unlike in my previous Antidote Chocolate review, this bar contains no sugar, so it’s in a completely different class of dark, nearly black chocolate bars with only a few peers to keep it company.  For that reason, I’ve decided not to give it a numerical score – it just doesn’t equate to most of the other chocolates I’ve reviewed so far.  People eat extreme dark bars for many reasons, but for most it’s about a sugar-free healthy experience loaded with antioxidants.

Antidote uses raw organic cacao beans from the Camino Verde farm in Ecuador to make a potent dark chocolate.

Tasting Notes and Review of Antidote Raw 100% Cacao with Dates

WHAT: Antidote Raw 100% Cacao with Bits of Delicate Dates. 65g (2.3 oz). Ingredients: Cacao beans*, dates, cocao butter*.  *Certified organic. 

Where to buy Antidote Chocolate.

WHEN: November 26, 2015   OVERALL RATING: n/a.

AROMA: Floral and tannic with citrus, green apple, black tea and banana.  You can’t escape the nose.  It will find you.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Grape skin, tannin, black tea.  Starts off slow and flat. You need to do some chewing to develop the range of flavors.

MIDDLE TASTE: Rose, malt, light ham, grape skin, cardamom, olive.

FINISH: Tannin gives way to almonds, walnuts, and more earthy notes like mushroom.  The finish is long lasting and less intense than the middle.

TEXTURE: On the crunchy end. Doesn’t melt on the tongue readily.

Antidote 100 warning crp

The warning on the back says it all. If you’re used to buying chocolate from the pharmacy, this might not be for you.  For the adventurous, *****

LAST BITE: What about the dates?  Don’t expect the dates to magically turn this bar into candy.  It’s not that kind of chocolate.  In fact, the dates don’t provide much of a sweetening effect – it’s more like a fruity note singing out from a small rowboat tossed about in a massive sea of cacao. Still, I’m glad they’re there.  My only advice for Antidote would be to chop the dates finer and add more of them so they are more like a chorus among the mighty waves of cacao.  There may be practical reasons why this is not possible, but it’s an idea worth considering. Or they may feel the bar simply rocks as is.

If you decide to try this bar, like many things in life, clarify your intentions first.  Do it because it’s satisfying, healthy, unique and fun.  I no longer felt hungry after a 3-4 squares (more than most people will ever need) and broke out from my usual somewhat sugared-up routine. Feels good.

NOTES:

[1] I paid for this bar myself (not a free sample).