Monday, August 3, 2009

In the mini Zone

Ok, a little back story here... Back in March, we were in Austin for South by Southwest, and as we were preparing to leave after our last show, we were approached by a few very nice young ladies who were distributing miniature Zone Perfect Snack Size bars. Actually, it was the end of a long day for them, too, and they were practically begging us to take as many as we wanted. Joe and I, figuring we had a long trip ahead of ourselves (Pete, the lucky bastard, flew back), told them that we'd just take everything they had. So we ended up with maybe 100 mini Zone bars:

4 months later, I've probably consumed 30 or 40 of these things, so I think I'm pretty much the world expert on mini Zone bars. Here are my findings:

NUTRITIONAL VALUE: Honestly, I'm not really sure what half the ingredients are on this thing (Sorbitan Monostearate? Yeah, that sounds good for me). At the end of the day, each bar is only 80 calories, so even if you have a couple, it's not really gonna make a big dent. That said, it's got decent doses of protein and carbs (plus 40% of my vitamin E RDA -- woohoo!)... exactly the kind of nutrients a working band needs to fuel up on those long interstate drives. You can read all the nutritional info here. 3/5

TASTE: On the one hand, it's covered in chocolate. Good. On the other hand, the flavor is "fudge graham," which is secret code for "it kinda tastes like cardboard on the inside." Definitely passable if you're hungry (cf my above comment about the chocolate coating), but also definitely not as good as a platter of ribs at Jim & Nicks. 2/5

DURABILITY: Now this is the real test of any road food: what happens when you leave it for weeks in a hot van -- thereby melting and reconstituting the chocolate coating many times -- and subject it to various tests of its physical integrity (aka Joe taking a nap on top of it)? For most road food (pretzels, soda, bananas, and so on), that's just not gonna fly. Not so with these Zone bars. They still taste the same as the day we got 'em. They're even recession-proof. 5/5

PRICE: We got them for $0. 'Nuff said. 5/5

OVERALL: I'm gonna have to give these a 4/5 overall. Not exactly a revelation, but they've been like the cockroach of road food for us: there when you need 'em and able to survive any environmental challenge. Maybe we should have a band challenge wherein one of us has to eat only Zone bars for an entire week. The winner gets...

...a week's free supply of Zone bars.

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