Larabar JamFrakas Bars

(Logo courtesy of JamFrakas)

I love getting packages at work. Especially when they contain something food-related inside! Since creating Taste As You Go, I've received new salt and pepper mills, barbecue sauce, and not one, but two cookbooks! When I received a package from Larabar this afternoon, I nearly completely forgot why I was receiving a package from them!

Last month Megan's Munchies, one of my new favorite food blogs, announced a special JamFrakas Bars giveaway. The first 200 people to respond to enter the giveaway would receive samples of the bars. Of course, I hightailed it over to the giveaway page as soon as I heard about it, but didn't know whether I was one of the first 200 people to respond. Judging by the package I received today, I think it's safe to assume I was. :-)

The adorable little package contained one sample of each of the five flavors of JamFrakas Bars: Chocolate Chip Cosmocrisp™, Banana Chocolate Blastocrisp™, Strawberry Crispiscrumptious™, Peanut Butter Blisscrisp™, and Apple Crispalicious™. (My spell-checker is hating me right now.) As you can probably gather by the names of the bars, the products are being marketed as "Crispy Chewy Food Bars for KIDS." Each flavor contains whole grain, no trans fats, no high fructose corn syrup, and at least 6 vitamins and minerals. All are gluten-free and soy-free, and the bars without chocolate are also dairy-free. So, the question that begs to be asked is this -- can food that contains no trans fats, no high fructose corn syrup, no gluten, and no soy really taste "Crispiscrumptious" or "Crispalicious"?

Depends on who you ask. I opened up the Chocolate Chip Cosmocrisp™ bar and divided it into pieces to share with some of my coworkers, one of whom is on a gluten-free diet. The opinions were certainly varied: it tastes "practical"; "the chocolate is functional"; it tastes "medicinal"; it's "not bad"; "I don't like it." Someone who's in love with, say, a Kudos bar probably wouldn't enjoy this one too much. We all agreed that the chocolate wasn't the prominent flavor. After a few seconds of chewing, we all picked up on the fruitiness of the bar, and when I read the ingredients, I confirmed my suspicions that there were raisins in there. (Actually, "organic raisin juice concentrate.")

Wanting to try one of the fruit bars, I opened the Apple Crispalicious™ bar next. I definitely missed the chocolate from the first bar. The apple flavor was definitely pronounced and came out over the "organic raisin juice concentrate," but I found the bar too dry.

Now, I don't want you all to think I hated these bars. I'm just not used to eating food that does not include gluten or soy. I'm blessed that I don't have allergies that would prevent me from eating food with gluten and/or soy. So, I'm sure, in time, I would get used to the flavor and texture of the JamFrakas bars and I would enjoy them. My gluten-free/soy-free coworker and my vegan-coworker both said they would eat these bars in mass-quantities, so they must be on to something!

I want to thank Megan for offering this giveaway to her readers! I was introduced to a whole new brand and product and helped some coworkers with dietary restrictions find a new snack. And... speaking of giveaways...

I want to remind you all to enter the TAYGA apron giveaway!! The deadline will be here before you know it, so make sure you leave a comment before 11:59pm EST on November 14, 2008!

Taste As You Go Disclaimer: I was provided with product samples at no cost. I do not accept monetary compensation for writing about these products or about my experiences while using them. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Zesty Cook said…
Michelle, Yay for care packages. I love larabars.

Zesty - Care packages are the best! I've only had the JamFrakas bars and haven't had the opportunity to try their other products. I'll have to keep my eyes out for them!
Meg said…
I am so glad that you got your bars! There has been mixed reviews of them so far! I would say the people that are used to eating soy/gluten free loved them more than others. I think they are pretty good as an on the go snack! I enjoyed hearing several opinions of them!
Meg - I agree with you. Of the coworkers I shared them with, those on the restricted diets liked them and those on "normal" diets didn't care for them so much. In a pinch, they'll definitely satisfy hunger pangs!