I love winning stuff. I don’t want to bombard you with old sayings and clichés, but I was raised with that whole ‘honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay’ message. However, as you grow up, you realise more and more that ‘money won is sweeter than money earned’. Anyway, I digress- the reason I mention winning stuff is because today’s review is of a product that I won via twitter. I hate the twitter craze of ‘Retweet to enter our competition’ but, suspiciously after winning exactly that type of competition… I’ve suddenly become more tolerant of it!
Coming from the Hershey’s owned Reese’s brand, we’ve got the Nutrageous bar- which is ‘crunchy peanuts, peanut butter, creamy caramel and chocolate flavoured coating’. That’s almost a list of my favourite things, so I was pretty damn excited to get my hands on the bar- peanut butter, peanuts AND caramel. I like those apples.
I received the bar from a company called American link. I rarely win anything, but they got in contact to tell me I had won their twitter competition. After asking some more questions, I discovered that they’re a very new company which specialise in the imported foods industry. It’s brave to be setting up a new business given the current economic climate, so I wish them the best of luck in their business endeavours.
The Nutrageous bar sounded great…apart from one thing. The words ‘chocolate FLAVOURED coating’ worried me. Reese’s stuff is often quite good, but Hershey’s chocolate is normally pretty crap, and this stuff couldn’t even be called actual chocolate! I had my fingers crossed that it wasn’t too bad.
This was quite a regular looking bar- the wrapper was the traditional Reese’s orange colour; a very distinctive and recognisable colour. I could feel from the outside that the bar itself was lumpy and bumpy, and, subsequent to opening the wrapper, I found what resembled a Lion or Picnic bar; bits and pieces poking out all over the place.
Check out the gorgeous looking caramel leakage above- doesn’t it look terrific? Normally my photography skills are a bit…well, rubbish, but the photo above looks like it’s come from an advert or something!
The contents smelt delicious. There was an awesome, full-on peanut aroma which made me want to devour the bar straight away. The peanutty smell was coming from two sources- it was easy to distinguish between a sweeter, creamier scent coming from the peanut butter, and secondly the actual peanuts which smelt equally nutty but in a more savoury way.
On top of the two-fold nutty aroma, there was some bloody sweet caramel. Like, not just a bit sweet, but BRUTALLY sweet. Not buttery or burnt in nature like some caramels are…but just sugary sweet. And (thank God!) there was nothing of the ‘chocolate flavour coating’ either which was fine by me.
The two photos will help you ‘get’ what the Nutrageous bar is all about- there is essentially a core of peanut butter in the centre of the bar, with peanuts chucked in seemingly randomly and then equally random dollops of caramel as well. It’s pretty in a messy kind of way. Organised chaos, I believe the phrase is.
And that organised chaos works. This bar is fantastic- the only thing I’m still not totally convinced by is the ‘mockolate’ coating. However everything else is great.
The peanut butter is sublime. Smoky tasting, it managed to be both impressive salty whilst also maintaining genuine creaminess as well. I would use this peanut butter alone on toast/sandwiches etc, which is about as much of a compliment as you can pay to it I reckon.
The whole peanuts were firm, crispy and salty. I guess that I’ve eaten more flavoursome, fresher tasting peanuts, but for a mass-produced bar, I had been expecting these to be really bad. In fact, they were most enjoyable. They blended beautifully with the golden caramel, which was stringy and chewy. It reminded me of the caramel from a Cadbury’s Curly Wurly. Alone, the caramel wasn’t outstanding, but it formed a formidable pairing with the salty peanuts as their sweet and salty, dry and moist contrasting attributes combined.
I’ve got to say it though, and you all know it’s coming. The chocolate sucked. It wasn’t AS bad as I had expected when I saw those three nightmare-ish words ‘chocolate flavoured coating’ but it was still unpleasant for me. It didn’t taste like chocolate, and it didn’t really taste milky. Which are quite important flavours when you’re trying to make milk chocolate. With a better chocolate, the Nutrageous would have been awful though- because the bar would have been so good, I would have had to become a Hershey’s fan boy!
The mockolate that Hershey’s have used here might be bad, but the Nutrageous is a lovely bar of chocolate. It’s got a bit of everything- sweetness and saltiness from the caramel and peanuts as well as creaminess from the (excellent) peanut butter. And it also crunches, squidges (if that’s a word?) and melts. They’ve covered all the bases.
You won’t see anything like this in ordinary UK shops that I can think of (except the Grown Up Chocolate Company’s sublime ‘Salted Peanut Caramel Crunch’ which might never be bested in my favourite chocolate bars list) so if you ever come across one, or are buying from an import shop, I’d recommend getting one to try. Reese’s P.B Cups are nice, but I’d rather have one of these myself.
Finally, thanks go to the company American Link for supplying the bar after I won their competition. They come across as a very friendly company so go and check them out (it’s as easy as googling their name.) You never know- follow them on twitter and you might well get lucky like I did!