Photos courtesy of Amazon, illustration by Lauren Kolm

The first installment of my new column, Join the Breakfast Club

Jim Behrle
March 10, 2017

Breakfast is allegedly the most important meal of the day. This has been repeated to us over and over again, so it is probably true. But like Pee Wee Herman, I’m a loner and a rebel. I usually skip breakfast. When I do eat breakfast, it’s utilitarian. Anything shaped to be eaten quickly and slammed directly into my facehole. I’m not necessarily going for taste. I’m going for facehole-filling and speed. I don’t have time to do dishes and I definitely don’t have time to stop and chew. 

Working at a bookstore affords me many benefits. Access to the world’s greatest literature. A feeling that I help distribute the knowledge of the universe. Also, we sell snacks. For breakfast, we sell Pop-Tarts, which is like eating a cigarette from nutrition’s point of view. So I decided to dive into our wide selection of KIND bars

Bars are fun because they can easily be eaten and forgotten about. KIND bars give you the illusion of nutrition with none of the actual bad taste of being good for you. They’re made primarily of fruits and nuts, which seem to be good for us humans but probably aren’t for some reason. Our store carries a billion different kinds of KIND bars. Most of them have some sort of chocolate backing. I’m not generally into chocolate for breakfast except for fake chocolate like Coco Puffs or Count Chocula. Eating real chocolate in the morning is a little like starting the day with dessert. Where do you go from there? I could start the day with gummi bears every morning, but I’d probably be dead in a few weeks. I want to live!

I recently decided to join the breakfast club and give these bars a chance. The first thing I noticed is that KIND bars are sticky from all the honey. I got sticky bar honey on book returns, books covers, coffee cups. Everything on my desk is basically sticky now. Which is a big improvement. But be warned, and maybe wear rubber gloves. Or, if you’re really slick, keep the wrapper between you and the bar at all times. I am not that slick. 

Here are all the KIND bars I tried and what I thought of them:

Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt: Dark chocolate makes me farty. Enough said. 

Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt: I like pecans and I like maple, but only separately. You ever spill maple syrup on the rest of the things on your plate at the International House of Pancakes? Maple: best on bacon and pancakes.

Caramel Almond & Sea Salt: Almonds are crunchy as hell. This is perhaps the most forgettable of the KIND bars. There’s only a thin drizzle of caramel. You’ll remember the crunch, but you’ll forget the taste.

photo by flickr user Mike mozart

Cranberry Almond + Antioxidants with Macadamia Nuts: A primo bar. Macadamia nuts cost like $20 for three nuts. Cranberries are always delicious. Almonds are only there to take up space.

Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio + Antioxidants: The freeze-dried blueberries and pomegranates were OK. Pistachios! Great. I don’t remember what the antioxidants tasted like.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants*: If they can freeze-dry cherries, couldn’t they put little soy bac-o-bits in these? I love fake bacon. The cashews were pretty good. I don’t remember what the asterisk tasted like.

Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond: I drink so much coffee every morning that I am actually immune to the taste of mocha. Otherwise, dark chocolate and almonds. My notes on this bar are just a shrug guy emjoi.

Raspberry Cashew & Chia: Freeze-dried raspberries! Plus those seeds that you make chia pets out of. Cashews are very underrated. I like this bar.

photo by flickr user Mike Mozart

Almond & Coconut: The coconuts were flaky and different. A nice touch to the same old bars.

Honey Roasted Nuts & Sea Salt:  These bars are “bound in honey.” Without being bound they would be pieces and nuts. Honey is the glue that holds all of them together. I ate like five of these bars. I don’t remember what they tasted like. 

Fruit & Nut Delight: Fruit? Check. Nut? Check. Delight? The jury is still out.

Blueberry Pecan + Fiber: I’m not sure what fiber is supposed to taste like. But I ate it all. All of it. I may have even eaten the wrapper. I’m pretty asleep in the morning. I definitely ate the plus sign. That was tasty.

I think if I was going to build the perfect KIND bar, it would contain raspberries, macadamia nuts, cashews, coconuts, chia seeds, sea salt, and antioxidants. My KIND bar would cost $10 and would have around 2,000 calories. There are so many different kinds of KIND bars they must have infinite combinations of almonds, sea salt, and nuts. I was able to eat these bars in a minute or two and then not think about food again for a while. And I did not die. Mission accomplished! Next time on Join the Breakfast Club: eating potato chips for breakfast (if they let me do another one of these).

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