Protein Bars Judged By Iron Chef

Here on Fed Up, determining if  a food should be ‘Recommended‘ or ‘Ranted‘ about can be complicated? How do you weigh certain values? Does organic or natural compensate for overpriced? Will strong nutritional stats mean that food is still worth eating if it is nasty?

We use many methods, and some values are weighed more heavily in some situations but not in others…Yet sometimes you just need to quickly say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ and you don’t want to think too much.  So that is when you forfeit your own creative grading criteria, and look to the professionals for their guidance.

Iron Chef has got to be one of my favorite food related tv shows and their methods and arguments are always sound. When it comes to judging, they simply rate foods based off of TASTE, PLATING, and ORIGINALITY, with ‘taste’ being the most crucial.

I decided to try to use the Iron Chef ‘Method’ to study this power bar that I have been craving:

Plenty of flavors to choose from…avoid the fruit and stick to the really decadent sounding ones.

Because of my hectic lifestyle, I am constantly resorting to various energy/protein bars to keep me going. I have experimented with many, MANY of the various options out there and I came across a brand that is mighty tasty.

The bars by “Pure Protein” are far from the ‘all-natural,’ ‘environmentally friendly’ bars I typically go after. To lower their sugar content they feature sugar-substitutes(which don’t bother me) and they have plenty of ingredients I can’t pronounce. The nutritional stats seem decent, scoring high on protein and acceptable levels of fat, etc. So I decided to look at these bars from a fair, unbiased, quick and simplistic point. …Using the judging principles formed by Iron Chef: Taste, Originality, and Presentation(plating). So the ‘green-ness’ and health value of the these bars is ignored, allowing one to really focus on determining if these protein bars will satisfy that constant craving for something tasty…

They  taste AMAZING…ok, not true. CERTAIN FLAVORS taste amazing! The Smore’s and Peanut-Marshmellow Eclipse are my favorite and the Chewy Chocolate Chip is pretty good too. However I felt the fruit-based bars like the blueberry one and the strawberry one were kind of funky. But overall they hit the sweet spot when looking for something decadent.

They have truly creative flavor combos that at least seem to be relatively original. I don’t know too many other protein bars out there use layers of marshmallow, or combine the unique textural elements such as a berry jam. “Pure Protein” manages to have several flavored bars that are composed of different layers that work together to make a unique treat. And their marketing department did a great job with labeling their flavors to create a real sense of awe. ‘Blueberry Crumble” is basically just blueberry,  but the name does a good job of forming positive expectations and getting our minds in the mode to look for the originality of this protein bar.

Presentation is always important…You hear it all the time; “You first eat with your eyes.” Many energy bars look like just pain nasty. I love “Clif Bars” but they look like solidified dog vomit and “Power Bars” often look like plastic. However “Pure Protein” bars all look really tasty.  The exterior of each bar will make you wonder if you actually just unwrapped a Snickers or Milkyway by accident. ‘Pure Protein’ bars really just look like standard candy bars (and that is a good thing). And then when you take a bite out of one, you get the awesome sight of the dual layers found in many flavors or at least an interior that has a contrasting color from the exterior’s coating.

Coupons are always awesome.

Oh…and bonus points for quality customer service. I started to get addicted to ‘Pure Protein’ bars on my last trip, but was getting fed up on how freaking expensive they are. I contacted the ‘Pure Protein’ company and they happily sent me a bunch of coupons to help save me from going completely broke. So it never hurts to ask for a promotion or some sort of discount….Now if I could just get our local sushi place to start handing out coupons…

FYI: If you want a full in-depth review of each of the “Pure Protein” bar flavors, check out the food-review-genius: Crazy Food Dude. He has a full set of detailed reviews on the various flavors. Just do a search on his site. I generally agree with most of his opinions…but I do say that for you SHOULD AVOID the blueberry and the strawberry flavors from ‘Pure Protein’…Stick to the crazy decadent sounding stuff. Seriously fruit really has a hard time competing with anything labeled ‘Smores.’


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Categories: Freaking Healthy, Recommendations

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out;


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4 Comments on “Protein Bars Judged By Iron Chef”

  1. July 20, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    I would agree with your assessment of the fruit flavors, especially the strawberry. That was one the worst reviews I’ve ever written because that bar was legitimately scary. The chocolate flavored ones on the other hand, are pretty good in general (like you said).

    • July 20, 2012 at 8:31 am #

      Haha. I am impressed with you commitment to providing complete reviews despite having to face illegitimately scary foods-haha. When I tried to the strawberry one, I powered through it hoping that eventually it would meet the high taste standards created by the other flavors…nope


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