On Tuesdays we get together with a couple of friends to watch LOST, munch on vegan junk food like chips & salsa, and speculate on smoke monsters and time travel. This week, we were all unaware that there had been no new episode, so we had no LOST to watch, but what we did have was four vegan candy bars from Go Max Go.
I got them in the mail on Monday, but managed to hold off on devouring them. I wanted to share them with people who had eaten standard candy bars more recently than I have, so I could ask how they compared. It’s been about four years since I’ve eaten a candy bar – the sort with caramel, nuts, or nougat under the chocolate. As with cow’s milk and cow-milk cheese, their actual taste has become rather blurred in my memory. Would Go Max Go vegan candy bars pass not only my test, but my friends’ as well?
Here are the candy bars, from left to right:
Twilight –caramel, chocolatey nougat, rice milk chocolatey coating. (Think: Milky Way.)
Mahalo –coconut, almonds, rice-milk chocolatey coating. (Think: Almond Joy.)
Buccaneer –chocolatey nougat, rice-milk chocolatey coating. (Think: Three Musketeers.)
Jokerz –caramel, peanuts, nougat, rice-milk chocolatey coating. (Think: Snickers.)
The Twilight bar is chewy and sweet with a perfect, gooey caramel layer on top of the nougat. The flavors blend together quite nicely. Not being accustomed to eating things like this, it struck me as being rather sweet, but compulsively eatable. It took me back to my early childhood, when Milky Ways were my favorite candy bar.
L. said the Mahalo was her definite favorite. The sweetened coconut inside really tastes like coconut, not like plastic, which is how I recall Almond Joy tasting. To be fair, I used to loathe coconut, and thought it ruined everything it touched. I don’t know whether it’s simply a matter of my taste buds having changed, but if I see you with a Mahalo bar, I’ll probably beg you for a piece.
I have to admit, the Buccaneer was my least favorite of the four. I found the chocolate nougat + chocolate coating to be too sweet and too much of the same. L sided with me, saying it was too bland, but her boyfriend, T, picked it as his favorite! He said it was spot on, and also that it reminded him a bit of the flavor of a Tootsie Roll.
The Jokerz bar was my favorite, as I expected it would be. Maybe it’s because the peanuts balance out the sweetness of the caramel & nougat just right, or maybe it’s just that Snickers is one of the few candy bars I’ve missed. They do perfectly replicate that flavor, and then some, according to T. He said that the non-vegan version is so overly processed and tastes so much like sugar that it’s like cold water hitting your teeth. These give you all the flavor without tasting artificial.
When it comes down to it, I think that’s my favorite thing about Go Max Go candy bars. Yes, it’s amazing that they’ve managed to veganize some mainstream candy bars (I really hope Crunch bars and Twix are next), but they haven’t merely replicated them; they’ve improved them. No trans fats, no hydrogenated oils, no cholesterol. They’re certainly not health food, but compared to the highly artificial candy bars that taste like nothing but sugar, these are downright wholesome, in spite of being sweet indulgences! I’d love to see these and any future Go Max Go Foods products hit the mainstream. You don’t have to be vegan to love these candy bars.