Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Trader Joe’s Lumpy Bumpy Bar

Lumpy Bumpy BarLast time I was a Trader Joe’s, I was on the prowl for new candies. Usually October is a great time to find new things on the shelves. I completely missed this Trader Joe’s Lumpy Bumpy Bar. Not because there weren’t a lot of them on display, but simply because I thought it was house brand pain reliever.

I can’t quite put my finger on why it doesn’t look like a candy bar, perhaps it’s a bit more long cube shaped than bar shaped. Perhaps it’s the red background with yellow text and blue accents which remind me of those visual disturbances that accompany migraines.

But now that I’ve found it (thanks to a phone call from my husband at the store asking me if I wanted to try it), I have to set aside all that and look at what’s on the inside.

Lumpy Bumpy BarThe box does seem like a bit of overpackaging, inside is a mylar wrapper around the bar as well. The wrapper itself is stupidly huge, about one and half times the length of the bar, so it’s folded over inside the box. Perhaps that keeps the bar from moving around.

But once out of all of that it’s obvious why they call it the Lumpy Bumpy Bar.

It’s pretty beefy looking and feeling. It clocks in at two ounces even, so about the same as a Snickers. And the description of it is also similar: creamy caramel and peanut nougat drenched in dark chocolate.

Lumpy Bumpy Bar

The first bar (pictured) had a rather liberal lump of peanuts on top. The second bar (the one I’m actually basing this tasting on) had only four.

The bar smells smoky and rich, like toasted sugar, peanuts and chocolate.

The textures are extreme. There are the deep crunches of the nuts - both on top and inside the nougat. The strip of caramel on the top of the nougat but under the chocolate is firm and stringy. The nougat is mostly soft and grainy, until I got to the bottom where it was more like a tough caramel.

When chewed up together the peanuts have a definite dark and burnt taste that pushes over everything else in its way. The thin chocolate coating doesn’t contribute much besides holding the rest of it together in its cloak. The nougat is mostly disappointing. I was hoping when I heard the $2 price tag, that the nougat would be Italian, Spanish or French style. Instead it’s more like a Milky Way Midnight with peanuts.

The only part I liked was the part that I think was a mistake - the chewy nougat at the very bottom was stringy and smooth and had a light touch of toasted marshmallow flavor to it. But since only one of my bars did this, I can’t even be sure that it was on purpose. The caramel on the top barely registers as a flavor or texture.

The good news for candy fans though is that this is a certified gluten free product and the ingredients are all natural. There are milk, soy and egg products in it though.

This bar is coming in all over the map from other reviewers (and from the photos, it appears that the bars are actually different in the amount of each element): Futile Sniff loves it (but had no peanuts on top and far more caramel), Gigi Reviews had a similar experience to mine except I found both of mine rather salty, Diana Takes a Bite found it too chewy and big while Patti at Candy Yum Yum wrote it a love letter.  (Yes, it appears that all reviewers are women, I’m guessing the package looks too much like Midol for men to have taken notice yet. I must note that I’ve never purchased Midol, so if this is the kind of analgesic that comes inside that box, please let me know what I’ve been missing!)

So after all that, I’m still stuck on the See’s Awesome Nut & Chew Bar, it’s half the price (though not quite as large) and more responsibly packaged though it does have almonds instead of peanuts.

Related Candies

  1. Trader Joe’s Espresso Pillows
  2. Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar
  3. BonBonBars: Malt Ganache & Scotch
  4. Ferrara Nougats
  5. Payday Fresh from the Factory
  6. Trader Joe’s Espresso Chocolate
  7. Snickers Dark
Name: Lumpy Bumpy Bar
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Trader Joe's
Place Purchased: Trader Joe's (Silverlake)
Price: $1.99
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 145
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Peanuts, Nougat, United States, Trader Joe's, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:20 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Totally agree on the excessive packaging. It does look like a pain reliever or vitamin box. Funny! The nougat in the bar we tried was like really tough taffy that took a few minutes to chew and didn’t have much flavor. Made me wonder if it was supposed to be like that. Given the variation you and other reviewers saw, maybe it wasn’t.

    Comment by Dawn on 11/04/08 at 9:43 am #
  2. arenee's avatar

    I bought this bar for my hubby the other day.  He said it was delicious!

    Comment by arenee on 11/04/08 at 11:20 am #
  3. This bar looks great in your photos (which may be a testimonial to your photography skills more than to the goodness of the bar itself), so it’s a shame that it isn’t very good.

    I’m guessing the box size may be related to the idea that there are standard box sizes for various products and they decided to just choose the biggest size necessary rather than custom make the packaging. Still, it is very wasteful!

    Comment by Orchid64 on 11/04/08 at 12:08 pm #
  4. I tried this bar a few weeks ago, and I’d give it a pass in the future. It sounds like mine was pretty similar in structure to yours, Cybele, and it reminded me a lot of the Snickers Rock n’ Road I recently tried, only with nuts that were rather aggressive compared to the candy.
    I would have much preferred to get the bar that was mostly caramel, with the nuts inside - that ratio looks like a winner to me (partially because it reminds me of my very favorite Sees Scotchmallow chocolates)

    Comment by Nicole on 11/04/08 at 2:07 pm #
  5. <quote>long cube shaped</quote>

    You’re good at this.

    Comment by Julia on 11/04/08 at 2:37 pm #
  6. I stumbled into your blog and it is so… Tasty! I see you like also Italian products, but you are missing my favourite chocolate treat: Lindt Lindor. Amazing.
    Have a try! (sorry for my poor english!)

    Comment by Clementine on 11/04/08 at 3:34 pm #
  7. I love your blog cross analysis of the Lumpy Bumpy Bar! (Especially since these bars do not seem to be consistent in form.)I am eager to check out the See’s Awesome Nut & Chew bar. As usual, I enjoy your thorough and informative posts; thank you! smile

    Comment by Meg on 11/04/08 at 3:52 pm #
  8. The first time I tried this, the nougat was chewy, which I loved.  The second time I tried it, the nougat was fluffy and soft, like 3 Musketeers, which I didn’t like.  And there were tons of peanuts on the first bar, and almost none on the second bar.

    I understand there can be differences in different batches, but that was a bit extreme!

    Comment by Lesley on 11/04/08 at 7:17 pm #
  9. Trader Joe?s Lumpy Bumpy Bar. I haven’t heard of this, I was blog browsing and came across this blog, will hang around, if you don’t mind.

    Comment by bedlam on 11/05/08 at 9:37 am #
  10. I tried one of these yesterday. The nougat was extremely hard and chewy. It was like a Look bar, only the shape of this one makes it really hard to bite into. Mine had four peanuts on top of it.

    It tasted good, but because it was so hard to chew I wouldn’t recommend it (I threw mine out after two bites). I much prefer the See’s Awesome Nut and Chew bar, which is similar but much easier to eat (and the nougat tastes better, and the chocolate coating is thicker…)

    Comment by Carol on 12/10/08 at 10:54 am #
  11. I wanted to like this, as TJs is my favorite spot for buying decadent treats.  My bar had a definite marshmallow quality to it that I enjoyed, but ACK!  The whole thing was just too sweet to be enjoyable!  I ate only two bites and then had to eat some wasabi peas to get that cloying sugary taste off of my palette!

    Comment by Laura Linger on 2/06/09 at 11:49 am #
  12. I was just to a Trader Joes today and found out these fantastic candy bars were discontinued about a year or so ago. I wish I had purchased a case of them. This is the basic reason we went to the store in the first place…to get the LUMPY DUMPY BUMPY BARS as I called them.

    Comment by Henry Behr on 9/05/11 at 1:59 pm #
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