I also just recently tried the Enjoy Life coco-loco bars – and, though not great by any means, they are quite tolerable and I have eaten a couple of them now. I certainly do not look at these as being a chocolate brownie or a replacement thereof. They are definitely a “snack bar” as marketed, and remind me of an energy-bar type product. They definitely have cocoa taste, but there are competing flavors of date-paste and fig-paste in there also. I can detect the Sorghum flour texture and taste too, which is fine by me.
The bars have a hearty, chewy, firm texture with something that may be a bit surprising to anyone that is not used to rice flakes – and, that is the crunchiness and interesting texture of the brown rice flakes used in the product. This is going to be something you will probably either love, or hate. I have baked with the rice-flakes before, and even tried to create an oatmeal-free oatmeal cookie, whereby I used the brown rice flakes in place of rolled oats. The result was a cookie that, although it tasted very similar to an oatmeal cookie, its texture was quite different. I tried everything – soaking the rice-flakes in molasses/water for a day, and other techniques. In the end, I abandoned the recipe since my taste-testers (all being non-GF) could not get past the crunchy rice flakes, and to make them come out without such a different texture was just way too much work. Oddly, my father really liked them when I produced a batch that was just amazingly chewy and crispy all in one – but, he was the exception.
So, you’ll have to tackle the Cocoa Loco bars knowing the texture is going to be different. The bars are vitamin-fortified, and would certainly make a great breakfast bar or snack bar when you need something in a hurry. Because they are dense and soft/chewy, they should hold up well if packed in a lunch or in your coat-pocket (don’t worry – they are individually wrapped).
For the allergen-free folks, this bar is bound to be a hit. And, many others may like it too, but it is also bound not to appeal to everyone due to the texture and interplay of various flavors. My daughter (not GF), for example, tried it and didn’t mind the texture but didn’t care for the date/fig flavors (she does not like dates at all). I don’t think you’ll go too far wrong trying these knowing what to expect. Do not buy the product thinking you are about to eat a chocolate brownie or cookie or such – that is now what it is. Go into it thinking energy-bar or snack-bar with flavors of chocolate, dates, and more, and there’s a good chance you will like it – especially if you read this review and the description sounds like something you want to try. I hope I captured the essence of the product here for you.
Where to Buy: Enjoy Life products are available in many natural food grocers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Distribution has also begun in Dillon, Fry’s, King Soopers, Kroger, Smith’s and Wegmans stores. See their website for a store locator or to purchase online.