Monday, March 9, 2020

Millville Peanut Butter Chewy Dipped Granola Bars (Aldi)

Like candy in granola bar form.

I like granola bars, but I don’t often get Millville’s dipped kinds, for whatever reason; the few times I have, I’ve always stuck with what I know I’d like: chocolate chip. Well, my wife recently picked up the peanut butter variety for our 3-year-old son, and I must confess that I raided his stash to try them; after all, this isn't a kind I would ever lean toward on my own.

Now, to be fair, I don't even know why that is: I actually like the combo of peanut butter and chocolate, but for some reason, I’m always hesitant to try new things with that flavor combination. I don’t know why, but peanut butter cups are about the only thing that I’ll immediately eat without giving it a second thought—maybe because as good as things are that utilize the combination properly, they can be just as awful when it goes wrong. (And, contrary to what some may think, it can go wrong.) So I gave it a shot, expecting it to be an instantly forgettable, if not regrettable, affair.

Wow, this texture is way better than I expected…and along with it, the taste. I thought that the peanut butter would come through in the form of peanut butter chips, or even peanut butter-flavored granola—both of which I'm not crazy about in granola bars—but underneath the exterior coating of chocolate is a thin, creamy layer of the stuff. When paired up with the fully-chocolated exterior (with surprisingly soft, melty, fakey artificial chocolate), it creates a candy-style combo that easily wipes any health benefits away from the granola center. But who cares? It tastes really good and a box of the stuff (with six bars), can be had for under $2, making them an excellent-tasting snack on the go.

Meanwhile, the small nature of these bars (and they are pretty darn small, at least compared to the typical granola bar) is where the health-conscious might even find some solace: each bar is 150 calories, and so unhealthy that it can be easy to forget that there's even granola in them. What am I getting at here? That these would probably be the perfect size for someone craving the delectable combo of peanut butter and chocolate, while still maintaining at least some level of control (and while at least delivering some dietary fiber; hey, I don't care if it's only 1 gram, I'm trying to make a case for it here!).

I’m still not sure that I would ever pick these up for myself, but having tried them, I’m certainly more inclined to do so than I initially was. It’s a tasty little treat, and the small size (while off-putting to a certain degree) also ensures somewhat limited caloric and sugar intake, which can be a good thing. Contrary to my original expectations, this is a delicious bar at an all-too-affordable price.

Overall: 8/10. Aaaah shit, these are way better than I was expecting, which was a chocolate covered granola bar with peanut butter chips in them. Nope, we're talking a fully-covered chocolate bar with an actual layer of rich, tasty, creamy peanut butter directly underneath, making them more crack-like than snack-like. However, they are small, which at least moderates the sugar/caloric intake (assuming you can stop at one), and the $1.39 price tag (for six bars) is perhaps too inviting. I'm not really sure the specific market for this (it's too unhealthy for those looking for a legit granola bar product, while those just looking for a sweet treat will be off-put by the granola bar they threw in there as an afterthought), but marketing demographics be damned...these are delicious.

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