Friday, February 6, 2009

Q.Bel Crispy Wafer Bars

Q-Bel Crispy Wafer BarsOne of the issues these days with candy bars isn’t the empty calories, it’s the ingredients. There’s a difference between bad for you (sound cue: giggle) and bad for you (sound cue: medical equipment).

I don’t usually feel bad about calories, fat or sugar. But I do feel weird about eating partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors.

Enter Q.bel with their line of all-natural candy bars. No artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no hydrogenated oils, no high fructose corn sweetener and no preservatives.

Q-Bel Milk Chocolate Crispy Wafer BarsThe happy thing to report is that candy bars never needed any of the above to be good ... they just needed them to be cheap. So quality will cost you $1.39-$1.69 (but if you’re buying your candy at Whole Foods, that’s hardly a surprise).

Their inaugural line has six products. I’m going to review three of them today, their Crispy Wafer Bar which come in Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter.

Q-Bel Dark Chocolate Crispy Wafer Bars

The Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice Wafer Bar (purple wrapper) is a stack of three crisp, flavorless wafers filled with a chocolate cream, sprinkled with crisped rice and then covered in dark chocolate.

They come in a two pack of fingers. Each is about three inches long and three quarters of an inch wide.

If the photo and description sounds vaguely familiar to you, it might be because this is very similar to the Hershey’s Bar None. (Except there’s no peanuts in this version.)

The crunch is light and crisp, airy and a little like an ice cream cone. The chocolate is slightly bitter, creamy and sweet with a dry finish. The cream center is sweet and a little grainy but rather buttery.

The whole experience is extremely satisfying. It’s not really a chocolate bar, it’s definitely a candy. I am in love with this bar.

Rating: 10 out of 10 (as long as I can find it in stores)

Q-Bel Milk Chocolate Crispy Wafer Bars

The Milk Chocolate Crispy Rice Wafer Bars are just like the dark version except with 10 more calories.

They’re a lighter taste and seem to have more crunchies to them, but that just could be variations in the manufacture.

The scent is milky sweet with a slight cereal smell. There’s less of a chocolate punch here and more of a creamy, dairy milk chocolate event going on.

I was very pleased with it (and at first though this would be like Bar None, but it didn’t have the same punch).

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Q-Bel Peanut Butter Wafer Bars

The Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Wafer Bars are a little different in that they don’t have the crisped rice. Instead of a chocolate cream filling they have a peanut butter filling between the wafers.

As I’m writing this I’ve been following the RSS feed from the FDA with all the recall warnings about peanut butter & peanut products. I’ve been assured by Q.bel directly and their website that they did not source their peanut butter from Peanut Corporation of America. (And it’s easy to believe them since these bars were manufactured in The Netherlands.

As with most nutty candies, this pair of bars clocked in with the highest calorie count: 190. (Don’t get the impression that these are dainty when it comes to calories, they’re dense in sugar and fat, clocking in on the upper range of the calories per ounce that I track.)

The bars are lovely to look at with their rippled coats of chocolate. They smell like fresh roasted peanuts.

The bite on these is very different. The peanut butter cream filling tastes unsalted and unsugared - so it’s a startling pop of real peanut flavor. But it’s very oily and soft, so when I bite into the bar, sometimes I’ve broken it because it’ll slide around (you can see the kind of crack it makes along the wafer line in the photo).

The peanut butter, while not crumbly or thick really sticks to my ribs. I found just one stick here to be very filling. The milk chocolate holds its own in this battle as well, giving a sweet and milky component to bring it all together.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

I’m so pleased that someone is making a quality product and I hope Q.bel becomes a standard in the confectionery industry. That you can make something with real ingredients and still make people want to overeat it. The packaging is compelling and appropriate. It protects the product inside, doesn’t take up too much space and gave me all the information I wanted to know. The images on the front are tantalizing and the bars actually look like that.

The portions may seem a little small, only 1.1 ounces, but they appear large because of the light wafers inside (maybe a little smaller than a KitKat bar). However, this also lowers the calorie count per portion, all are under 200 calories (which means those 100 calorie folks can just eat one). The price point is a little steep too, but if I were faced with an array of these and something like Nestle’s Crunch Crisp bar (which is a one-bar version of this filled with partially hydrogenated fats and covered with mockolate), I’d pick these at twice/thrice the price.

The other half of their product line is a series of Wafer Rolls in the same flavor array. (I’ll have a review of those soon.)

Q.bel did some liberal mailing of samples, so expect more reviews to pop up on the other food-oriented blogs. They did send me a silly-huge number of “samples” which were a box of each (20 bars) flavor. I’ve been very popular with my co-workers this week.

UPDATE: They should be available at most Whole Foods nationwide and online at Natural Candy Store.

Related Candies

  1. Q.Bel Mint Wafer Bars
  2. Choceur Luxury Mini Chocolate Bars
  3. ReeseSticks (Revisit)
  4. Ritter Schokowurfel
  5. Ferrero Raffaello & Rondnoir
  6. Happy Hippos
  7. Head-to-Head KitKat vs KitKat!
  8. Butterfinger Crisp
Name: Wafer Bars: Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice, Milk Chocolate Crispy Rice & Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Q.bel
Place Purchased: samples from Q.bel
Price: retail $1.69
Size: 1.1 ounces
Calories per ounce: 154, 163 & 172
Categories: Chocolate, Cookie, Peanut, Netherlands, Q.bel, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:31 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. The milk chocolate looks good. I don’t like american peanut butter it’s too dry and salty.
    The only problem with these is the wrapper looks like it came from an el cheapo store.

    Comment by Sweet Pursuit on 2/07/09 at 1:02 am #
  2. Ooh thats looks good

    Comment by Bubbles on 2/08/09 at 3:09 pm #
  3. Sounds great! Too bad they’re not kosher.

    Comment by Rachel B. on 2/09/09 at 7:01 am #
  4. Wow. I was so impressed that this candy received a 10, that I had to go right to Whole Foods and get me some. Well, ok, I was going anyway.

    I was surprised how light the package was when I picked it up (I got the dark choco bars and the pb tube thingy). And I agree with Sweet Pursuit - the packaging needs some major work. They should class it up.

    When I finally ate the bars, they seemed more substantial. But I could still have eaten a cargo shipment load. Crispy, tasty, fun, good chocolate. The perfect wafer bar. Completely worth the cost. And the company/owners seem very sweet, too.

    Comment by KateC on 2/10/09 at 5:20 am #
  5. Wow, a 10 rating! You haven’t given one of those out in over a year, so I am assuming I must put this on the top of my to buy list.

    Comment by Robby on 2/11/09 at 11:17 am #
  6. I gave the address in the Bldg., where I work for the company.  Anyway, I watch my fat, saturated especially, carbs., and sugar. I just bought the peanut butter crispy wafer rolls yesterday, 7/19/2009 for the first time.  I purchased them at whole foods. The other two flavors were too high in there nutrients. Anyway, I also like the fact that they are all natural. They are worth every penny. I will definitely purchase them again and again. Have a great day and be safe.  ‘DELICIOUS” Linda L. Peters

    Comment by Linda L. Peters on 7/20/09 at 8:56 am #

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