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Russell Stover Big Bite S’mores Bar


Look at that mallow filling!

I’m what you’d call a messy individual.  As such, I always welcome a bit of extra convenience; the less I have to worry about, the better.  This is why I find Russell Stover’s Big Bite S’mores bar to be a bizarre addition to their line-up.  Okay, so I’m a bit behind with my review of this peculiarity.  But both this and the Big Bite Pecan Delight have made, well, big waves at my store, so even a late review was irresistible.

When I think Russell Stover, I think neat, elegantly assorted chocolates.  Along with Whitman’s Reserve and the like, they’re the richer sweets that stick their noses up at all those Snickers and KitKat flavors, be it here or in Japan, respectively.  Like so, the worst mess you should face with them is a sprinkle or two left in an otherwise empty spot.


Not quite the case here.

Now, when I think s’mores, I think nature.  I think of the night, when wolves and coyotes are deciding which fatty of our clique to indulge in; I think of mosquitos sucking your blood out because you’re not in a loving, sharing mood.  I also think about how your epic s’mores concoctions fall apart easier than lettuce and black olives slipping out of your Subway sandwich.

Needless to say, the fact these two worlds are being combined is what a stereotypical English instructor would call an aberration.  But it can work.  This is Russell Stover, after all, so whatever mess is left should be relatively negligible, right?


You got your crumbs in my filling!

A co-worker actually treated me to one of these before, saying they wanted see my reaction (smile).  Apparently there’s a ritual of enjoying this ever-degrading, mallow-y treat before gathering crumbs aplenty on the floor.

As for my initiation, I was quite pleased.  Everything about the bar was what I thought it should be.  The graham crackers could’ve been crispier, but the marshmallow filling was enjoyably chewy which, combined with Russell Stover’s wonderful milk chocolate coating, made for a scrumptious treat.  That chocolate covering feels thicker than it looks, as it seeps throughout the crackers and filling to the point that you know precisely where those 25 grams of sugar went.

The bar that I purchased (and saved) for my blog was similar, all told; except the graham crackers were on the soggy and stale side.  You know how store-brand graham crackers tend to feel chewy even when they’re right out of the box?  That’s what this was.  And since they’re the first things you bite into, it makes for an off first impression.  Until the rest of the bar works its magic, that is.  When your tongue and teeth begin savoring the real delights of this bar, the crackers become an afterthought.

In Short: Messy and inconsistent, but ever so tasty.

Purchased At: Walgreens
Purchase Price: $0.99 (on sale)

Other Reviews

Candy Blog: http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/russell_stover_giant_smores_bar
Junk Food Guy: http://junkfoodguy.com/2012/09/17/russell-stover-big-bite-smores-awkward-mondays-the-sunday-after-a-wedding-and-announcing-retro-cereal-week/

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1 bar
Calories: 230 (60 from fat)
Total Fat: 7 grams (3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat)
Cholesterol: Less than 5 milligrams
Sodium: 140 milligrams
Total Carbohydrates: 42 grams (1 gram of dietary fiber, 25 grams of sugar)
Protein: 2 grams

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Blog, Food, Review

 

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Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter Review

I love peanut butter.  Do you love peanut butter?  If you don’t love peanut butter, I’m not sure our friendship can endure.  There’s just something special–something magical–about how peanut butter tastes, how it mixes with anything to provide awesome combinations.  How can you not love peanut butter?

Whether it’s creamy or chunky, I love to grab some of these less than generously priced jars.  I’ll often apply it to my morning toast and slide a few banana slices on top.  Elvis Presley fans will surely know what I’m talking about.  Besides, who needs butter on their toast when they can have smashed and oiled peanuts instead?

So when I’m on the hunt for peanut butter at the grocery store, I like to consider different options.  Jif is a frequent go-to brand; Smuckers might be annoying to mix, but the flavor and texture is always worth it; and even the usual store brand peanut butter can hold its own.  That is, unless you get a crunchy Great Value jar at Wal-Mart (seriously, do they even cut those peanuts?).  And while I don’t always abide by online dieting advice, I’ll at least give some tips a chance.  So when I looked around the less expensive choices, I decided to go with Jif Natural for two reasons:

One, it has only five ingredients (?)
Two, how can you possibly screw up peanut butter?

There are a couple amusing things to note about this particular selection, one of which exists in the name: NATURAL.  Is there seriously anything at this point that isn’t natural?  Sand isn’t exactly the most appetizing thing to eat, but at least it’s a natural part of our wholesome earth!  The other part to note is that it says “no need to stir,” which I found to be a given with peanut butter until buying my first Smuckers jar.  Next thing you know Peter Pan will be telling us we don’t need to refrigerate our peanut butter.

Beyond the food label there isn’t much to (initially) distinguish this from the regular Jif peanut butter.  It looks the part when you take the cap off and definitely smells the part too.  When you dip in, however, the differences begin to show.  The texture is notably softer, looking a bit oily and wet after you’ve scooped a bit up.  This stuff literally looks like it could melt away at any second, but somehow manages to stay in place regardless of how you angle the jar.

After grabbing my knife and helping myself to a generous amount, I found myself smiling…for about three seconds.  Natural it may be, but this peanut butter is very deceptive.  The taste is far more subdued than I’d become accustomed to, and the texture dissolves even faster than those Listerine strips.

But maybe my salivation glands are overworking themselves, so why not put this jar to the combination test?  And what better, easier way than an open Elvis Presley sandwich?  As always, I applied a light amount since even a little peanut butter can go a long way.  I always toast my bread as it makes for a good melting test, which happened almost instantaneously.  Spreading quickly got to the point that I had to dip in again and again to cover each slice.  Follow that up with some banana slices, a good bite and I’m left wondering, “where the heck is the peanut butter?”

It’s pretty obvious that if I want to get results even close to standard peanut butter thickness and texture, I’m gonna have to significantly up the amount I apply.  Even then the bland taste and mist-like consistency would still leave me feeling less content.  If fewer ingredients mean more to you than actual satisfaction, then go ahead and make your swap.  But then you’ve officially decreed yourself a heretic in my books.

The Verdict: Toss It in the Spill

Nutrition

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons (33 grams)
Servings Per Container: About 15
Calories: 190 (130 from fat)
Total Fat: 16 grams (3 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat)
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 80 milligrams
Total Carbohydrates: 8 grams (2 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar)
Protein: 7 grams

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Blog, Food, Review

 

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