Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trader Joe's Lumpy Bumpy Bars: A Workout for the Jaw

The moment I saw Futile Sniff's post about Trader Joe's new Lumpy Bumpy bar, I knew it would be mine. Not only is the name seriously fun to say, but the description seems to have been lifted straight out of my deepest chocolate-related dreams. Creamy caramel and peanut nougat drenched in dark chocolate? To steal the words right out of Meg Ryan's mouth in When Harry Met Sally, "Yes, yes, yes!"

I wanted what Futile Sniff (coincidentally, her name is Meg too) was having, and that very day, I rushed over to the Trader Joe's near my office to purchase one of the $1.99 bars.

The two ounce bar isn't exactly the daintiest of desserts. With 290 calories and 14 grams of fat (6 saturated) per bar, the treat is definitely an indulgence akin to downing an entire Snickers bar (270 calories, 11 grams of fat) in a sitting. I wasn't exactly in the mood for a belly ache, so I sliced the very lumpy and bumpy bar straight down the middle and saved half for the next day.

With my bar rations set, it was finally time to take a bite. I sank my teeth through the dark chocolate shell, careful to position my mouth at the proper angle to get a taste of the peanut, caramel and nougat all together. And then I chewed. And chewed. And chewed. I chewed so much that I was beginning to feel like one of those annoying people who don't swallow their food until they've masticated it an obscene number of times. Not because I'm also annoying and have some weird complex about the way I devour my food, but because it took some major jaw action to get through the nougat and caramel.

All the effort was slightly distracting. The taste was good, but my jaw was not happy with how hard it had to work to get through the lumpy bumpy bar. As I neared the end of the half, I also noticed that the peanuts had been concentrated in the middle. The last few bites were completely devoid of a nutty crunch, and with nothing but the caramel and nougat to attend, I found myself a little less than impressed. It wasn't bad, it was just too much work for my poor mouth!

Eating the second half the next day only reconfirmed my original conclusions. I also noticed that because the dark chocolate melted away soon after I took a bite, I didn't get the full impact of all the flavor profiles together. While the taste has the potential to rival my favorite See's chocolate, the dark nougat, the firmness of the caramel and nougat complete eradicates the possibility for comparison. It's simply not worth the jaw strain, nor is it worth the 290 calories and 14 grams of fat that could very well lead to some very lumpy and bumpy thighs.


Ashley said...

Is it really necessary to but a single bar in a BOX? Doesn't the wrapper suffice?

Diana H. said...

That bugged me too! Maybe they are afraid the lumps and bumps will get squashed in a wrapper? Or maybe they think it will appear more "upscale" if it's in a box?

Esi said...

Hmmm, I have been wanting to try these. Maybe I will still pick one up and report back to you.

Futile Sniffer said...

Heh, maybe the chewing can be viewed as the workout to lessen the caloric blow. :P