That’s right today’s protein bar is aptly named Quest because that is exactly what I feel as though I have been on. It feels like a quest to find a protein bar I would actually like to eat. I know it seems like a strange quest to be on. There are many snacks that i can easily choose from. In fact I keep a variety of them in the pantry. Almonds, walnuts and peanuts. Mini sized bags of popcorn. Chomps meat Sticks and Righteous Felon Craft Beef Jerky and seasonal fruit are all available.
The thing is, I enjoy riding my bike and there is a group I ride with, most of whom it turns out are vegans. When I ride my bike I like to keep a simple portable snack, which for me the easiest is either Chomps or Righteous Felon, both of which I use when I am on my own. With the group I like to something a little more vegan friendly than a stick of meat. No one has any objections to what I eat, but I feel it is a bit more polite.
Hence my delving into protein bars recently. Many of them have not been my thing. For some it is textural. many protein bars seem to have the texture of playdoh which I simply do not find pleasant. A lot of them are overly sweet, or too dry and crumbly. And many of them seem to taste like a weird interpretation of uncooked cookie dough.
During my workday when i use an afternoon snack to help me control my dinner time portion size, I like to keep my snacks around 100 calories. When riding I am a little more flexible with the calorie count as I am in the process of refueling often during exercise.
This Cookies and Cream Quest Bar had 200 calories per bar. For the trail ride that is fine. At my desk I cut it in half. The bar is large enough that I am okay with cutting it in half. I can do so and still feel like I am getting a decent sized snack. As odd as it sounds, sometimes perception is everything. If I feel like cutting it in half gives me too small a portion it doesn’t matter what the calorie count says, i still feel like I’ve been cheated. This is large enough that I don’t feel cheated when i half it.
There is some of that playdoh texture on the outside, but I don’t mind it as much with the quest bars. Partially because it is a stiffer consistency and I can’t roll it up easily like a ball of playdoh and partially it is because there are solid pieces inside. The black pieces are the same texture and consistence of the chocolate wafer part of a sandwich cookie, like an Oreo. For all I know they could actually be cookie pieces added to it. They certainly have the right texture and taste. The white bit is not the same filling. It is sweet but it has a slightly aspartame kind of taste. It leaves an aftertaste like you get from a diet soda. While I can do without the aftertaste, I have to say this has been one of the best protein bars I have tried.
While I don’t think that i will ever be a huge fan of protein bars and I will probably not turn to them for my regular daily snacking, for an inoffensive eat on the trail snack, I would certainly pick this Quest Cookies and Cream Protein Bar up again. The flavor is good, there is enough textural difference between the components to make it feel like something it is okay to eat and not like you have taken the Playdoh food factory fun molds a little too literally, and it doesn’t crumble to dust as you bite into it. The only problem is that more than anything it does make me crave a big, cold glass of milk.