Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sunspire Coconut Bars

Sunspire Coconut barsAt the same time I bought the Sunspire Peppermint Pattie, I also picked up both of their Coconut Bars.

Sunspire makes premium candy with all natural ingredients, nothing artificial. In my experience with their products they tend to use evaporated cane juice instead of refined sugar and often use unsulfured molasses as a sweetener. They also eschew genetically modified sources so most of the products I’ve seen use a rice syrup when needed instead of corn syrup. Besides the malty, earthy flavor that molasses usually adds, I have no problem with sweet & satisfying candy being made from these elements.

Add to that Hershey’s decision to move manufacturing of Mounds, Almond Joy and York Peppermint Patties to Mexico, I thought it’d be cool to find an excellent American-made substitute for folks who want to buy more local. (Though in my case Monterrey, Mexico is a bit closer than Hershey, PA.)

Milk Chocolate & Almond Coconut BarThe Coconut Almond with Premium Milk Chocolate bar looked fabulous. It’s pretty beefy, a wide slab clocking in at 1.75 ounces.

Instead of the two piece style of Almond Joy or Bounty this is a long, one-piece bar, a bit thinner. The rippled milk chocolate enrobing is glossy and appealing.

The almonds in this bar are not whole ones popped on top like Almond Joy, they’re crushed & mixed in with the moist coconut flakes.

Milk Chocolate & Almond Coconut Bar

I didn’t really see the almond bits in there, but the color was a bit more on the cream-colored side than the dark chocolate & no almond version (see below.)

The bar smells pleasantly like coconut and unpleasantly like Hershey’s Milk Chocolate often does - a bit gamey & sour ... rather like baby vomit.

But I pushed on, because I actually like the taste of Hershey’s milk chocolate, even though I can’t take the smell of it for very long.

The flavor of the milk chocolate is tangy, it’s like acid reflux but in the convenience of a pre-packaged bar. It’s terrible. I can’t eat it. I tried several times, it’s just too awful for me to stomach. (I even waited a couple of days, just in case I was the one who wasn’t feeling well.)

Then, as some sort of deja vu, I lured Amy into my office to try it. (Remember, not only does Amy have no problem spitting things out, she also has a hate-hate relationship with Sunspire’s Sundrops.)

I understand personal preferences for certain flavors, it’s rare for any candy product to induce a verified gag reflex.

Rating: 1 out of 10

Dark Chocolate Coconut BarBut to get back to the happy hiatus of Sunspire mistrust that was the Peppermint Pattie ... an unrelated bad night’s sleep and I tried the Coconut Premium Dark Chocolate.

It’s a simpler bar, just a firm coconut center, lightly sweetened and some dark chocolate enrobing.

The enrobing on this one looked similar, though there were a few bloomed spots. As the expiration date was March 2010, I felt pretty safe eating it.

The chocolate is slightly bitter, not extremely creamy but has its own decent flavor. The center is firm and chewy, more like an uncoated coconut bar than something soft & moist like a Mounds.

This tastes like no compromise candy. All natural ingredients, not organic but at least not genetically modified or overprocessed. The ingredients are vegan however they were made in a plant that processes wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs and soy. Kosher.

The price is a bit steep and to be honest, if I’m going for a candy bar when at Whole Foods or similar stores, there’s very little that could pry me away from the Q.Bel wafer bars. But if I was in the mood for coconut, the dark bar is notable.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Atkinson’s Coconut Long Boys
  2. Regional Flavors: Key Lime, Pina Colada & Huckleberries
  3. Kisses Coconut Creme
  4. 100 Grand Coconut
  5. Mounds Island Orange
  6. Cup-O-Gold
Name: Coconut Almond Bar (Milk Chocolate) & Coconut Bar (Dark Chocolate)
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Sunspire (nSpired Natural Food)
Place Purchased: Henry's (Laguna Niguel)
Price: $1.25 (on sale)
Size: 1.75 ounces
Calories per ounce: 149
Categories: Chocolate, Coconut, Nuts, United States, Sunspire, Kosher, All-Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:13 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Wow, been a long time since there was an inedible rating.  Occidental college has a bunch of Sunspire stuff and I’m glad I’m not the only one that things they’re terrible.  We don’t have the plain dark chocolate kind, only those awful almond ones.

    Comment by Meghann on 5/13/09 at 11:19 am #
  2. I find it amazing that two similar bars from the same manufacturer could get such different ratings.

    I read the Sun Drops review (and some nasty comments), too.  As for this brand, I’ll just consider myself fairly warned.  I can stay away from a brand, but I don’t trust myself to keep the phony Almond-lack-of-Joy straight from the passable imitation Mounds.

    Comment by Dave on 5/13/09 at 1:36 pm #
  3. So you agree that hershey’s smells like vomit then? I thought you didn’t think that, so I was surprised to read it.

    Comment by Sweet Pursuit on 5/14/09 at 3:58 am #
  4. I gave it to my neighbor to try it and she love it. I’t just amazing how much taste buds people have:)

    Comment by foodcreate on 5/18/09 at 5:43 pm #
  5. I love Coconut bar and for me it’s the best coconut chocolade in the world. Almond Joy and Mounds are way too sweet as is any American chocolade. This one has such natural taste. However I’m not fond of Almond one but don’t think it’s so bad.

    Comment by Lana DAgostini on 10/07/10 at 7:45 pm #
  6. I haven’t tried either of these, but I just had to say:

    “it’s like acid reflux but in the convenience of a pre-packaged bar.”

    is the funniest thing I’ve seen all week. (Yes, I get reflux.)

    Also, if you’re curious what my reasoning is for reading reviews in the order I’ve followed? I came here in the first place looking for a description of what the Good News bar (which I can’t shake the notion of door-to-door missionaries pushing along with religious literature) actually tastes like. But once here, seeing the descriptive adjectives that go along with your numeric rating scale, I was overcome with curiosity about what candies qualified as “inedible” vs. merely “appalling.”

    Comment by a Jack on 11/10/11 at 6:52 pm #
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