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Amy's Organic "Andy's Dandy Candy" Crispy Review
What It Is
Amy's Kitchen is probably best known for their vegetarian frozen meals, but in recent years they've branched out and begun to produce things like gluten free cakes, cookies, and yes, even candy bars. A good deal of candy bars already on the market are gluten free, but they aren't organic or free of high-fructose corn syrup. With their candy bars Amy's is catering to a growing market of consumers who may or may not care about gluten, but want to satisfy their cravings with something a little better for the body.
This particular candy bar describes itself as being "rice crisps, almonds and caramel covered in chocolate." It contains milk, soy and tree nuts, but no trans fat or preservatives. They are careful to provide a disclaimer saying that their facility does use wheat, tree nuts and seeds, but that their facility does not use peanuts or eggs.
Each package is 1.5 oz and contains two bars, so you don't have to eat the whole thing in one sitting. Or you can share!
When you open up the package you will find two slightly dry-looking bars covered in a fairly dark chocolate. The bar does resemble the bar on the package, more or less.
This bar is considered one serving. A single serving of this candy bar contains:
2.5g saturated fat
and 100 calories
It's hard to compare these nutrition facts to a similar candy bar since there aren't many similar bars out on the market today. I decided to compare them to Snickers Peanut Butter, since that has a similar serving size. I suppose the premise is also similar (caramel and nuts and chocolate, though the nougat in Snickers is probably far more caloric and fattening than the rice puffs in the Dandy Candy).
Compared to Snickers Peanut Butter (1 bar)
30 fewer calories
1 fewer grams of fat
.5 fewer grams of saturated fat
3 fewer grams of sugar
1 fewer grams of protein
4% more iron
4% less calcium--I imagine it's because of milk chocolate vs. dark
Once again, this is kind of an apples vs. oranges comparison done only because this candy bar has a relatively similar composition and comes in two servings per package. (But isn't like a King Size bar that has two nearly full servings per package.)
The first thing I noticed in this bar was the dark chocolate flavor, followed by a saltiness that must be coming from the caramel. There isn't much of the caramel in there, nor is it necessarily visible the way it is on the illustration. There might be almonds inside, but I don't taste them nor can I discern them from the rice puffs. Perhaps they're mixed in there somewhere.
The texture, apart from the very thin layer of caramel that provides a little give at the top of the bar, is reminiscent of a granola bar. The puffs are very round and awkwardly crunchy--or is that the almonds? It's hard to tell. There's an awful lot of that round crunchiness going on inside, so I'm not sure which is the source of the texture. And then there's the chocolate, which is perceptible flavor-wise but there's so little of it that I have a hard time calling this a "chocolate bar." I guess the wrapper said as much, but it really is a rice puff bar covered in chocolate.
When you're eating gluten free for a period of time you kind of learn to expect that things will taste ... strange. You get accustomed over your lifetime to the processed, "bad-for-you" foods and have to grow used to the textures and flavors of breads and pastas that don't feel like they did. It's like switching between white Wonderbread types of bread to some kind of whole grain bread, or the difference between Lucky Charms and oat bran. You want your chocolate to be smooth and sweet, caramel to be soft and chewy, and rice puffs to be light and airy. This candy bar has none of those qualities. It's not bad--the flavor is fine--but because it's so different from any other candy bar I've eaten, the difference is off-putting.
I can't compare this candy bar to any candy bar on the market because I can't think of a mainstream bar that is entirely similar to this one. I'm also not sure who this bar is really catering too except the health freaks, since it doesn't really fill some void in my gluten free life like an organic, gluten free Twix or Kit-Kat clone would. It's not Nestle's Crunch (which is not gluten free on account of barley malt, last I checked) by any stretch of the imagination, in other words. I can't say I've ever lamented the lack of rice puffs in my candy, and with options like Snickers, Reese's, 3 Musketeers, and so on available to those of us on gluten free diets, I can't imagine that a bar like this would convert me to the Organic Side just yet. I do enjoy Justin's organic peanut butter cups, but that's precisely because they taste exactly like Reese's but contain less guilt and uncertainty about the products used within them.
In conclusion, I didn't hate this product, I might try it again, but it probably won't make it into my candy rotation anytime soon. Which is just as well, since I'm trying to cut back on sweets these days anyhow.