DAY 6: This Pumpkin Walks Into A Bar...

If you had a school lunch packed for you growing up, I’m sure you can think of that one item you would always get in your bag even though you begged your parents to stop including it. But they didn’t, and you either ate it out of guilt or tried everything in your power to trade it away.

For me, it was a Nutri-Grain bar (apple flavored, specifically). If you’re not familiar, they consist of a soft oat shell filled with blended fruit paste. They were huge in the 90’s, marketed by Kellogg’s as an on-the-go breakfast/snack.

To clarify: I’m sure they tasted perfectly fine (I honestly can’t remember). The trauma for me was just a result of having to choke them down while my friends all got Dunkaroos.

Why am I sharing all of this? I suppose I’m just trying to psyche myself up to repress a 15-year aversion to fruit filled cereal bars for today’s review.
DAY 6: This Pumpkin Walks Into A Bar...
Item: This Pumpkin Walks Into A Bar...
Cost: $1.99
Purchase Location: Trader Joe’s
“Like its naturally fruit-flavored siblings on the shelf, Pumpkin Walks is made with real fruit -- in this case pumpkin -- and without artificial flavors or preservatives.  In honor of the flavors of the season, we've added spices like clove, cinnamon and nutmeg to give it a real "pumpkin pie" vibe.”

With a name that’s already pretty punny, Trader Joe’s saved me the need to think of some clever title for today’s review. Thanks, TJ’s.
I decided not to read the ingredients so that I could see if I could pick out which spices were included. Upon opening one of the bars, I could smell cinnamon (check), clove (check), ginger (check), and nutmeg (check). The blend of spices is pretty fragrant, but is mellowed by the pumpkin in the background. I also noticed another fruit smell, but I couldn’t really put my finger on it.

At first bite, I tasted the cinnamon, clove, and pumpkin nicely, but those quickly gave way to the other fruit flavor… and it was not pleasant. Instead of tasting the pumpkin/spices, all I could taste was the other fruit. It was strong, sour, and gross.

I decided to check the box to see what it was, and wouldn’t you know it….


I tried to eat through the rest of the bar, but I couldn’t get past half. The apple flavor overwhelms the pumpkin. I would even bet that if you did a blind taste test, 90% of people would miss the pumpkin altogether.

I’m sure that someone at TJ’s had good intentions by sweetening the bar with another fruit, but apple was not the right choice. Fig or pear would have been much better alternatives because they have similar sweetness but more mellow flavors.

Overall: The spices may have been right, but the filling was all wrong.

Final Rating: 0/5 Pumpkins.


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