"The Last Sunrise" – Submitted by the Bittersweet Blog
It was recently brought to my attention that Luna had come out with a whole new line of granola bars which they had dubbed “Luna Sunrise.” Once I double checked to make sure they were all vegan, (The names can be a bit deceiving) I went on the hunt until I tracked down all three flavors. I always have a healthy supply of their normal bars on hand, as I find them quite tasty and easy to munch on when I can’t guarantee I’ll find edible vegan food away from home. Having a fairly long and happy history with the original, I was wondering what would make these new ones different.
I ended up having to search through a solid three or four grocery stores to acquire all three bars. I guess they aren’t very widely distributed yet… I’m not sure exactly when they came out, but it does take a while for stores to purchase new items sometimes.
Checking out the label thoroughly, I really liked how healthy they appeared. A good amount of fiber, protein, and mostly good fats at a reasonably sized portion. There are also the added vitamins and nutrients as with all their bars, so I think that nutritionally, they’re essentially the same. Maybe there’s one more or less gram of something or other, but I would pick one type over the other based simply on its health value.
When it came to tasting, the first thing that I really noticed about each of these bars was how extremely similar they were to regular Luna bars. Each had the same basic structure of puffed crispy grains with some sort of icing.
Peeling back the cheerful foil, I was somewhat intimidated by the vast quantities of icing in comparison to the rest of the bar. There’s a white icing on the bottom, a butterscotch colored icing on top, and then it’s finished off with an addition squiggle of the white icing, in addition to a few oats scattered across. Smelling the bar added to my fear; A very pungent whiff of sickening sweetness hit me like an automatic nail gun. It wasn’t just a plain sugar smell though… I’m not even sure how to describe it exactly.
It turns out that the bottom white icing doesn’t taste like very much, but provides more texture than anything. Very smooth and creamy, I think that it actually helps a good deal to prevent the bar from feeling so dry. The top icing is a bit chewier, with only the slightest caramel taste. Like it had appeared, the central bar itself is very much like the standard Luna bars, but perhaps is somewhat denser, with extra oats and filler thrown in.
With all of the layers eaten together, it’s really not too bad. Still lacking in the flavor department I will admit, but very edible nonetheless. I’m just not sure where they’re getting this mysterious “almond” aspect though… I checked the label, and it does list almonds… I just can’t find them.
Deja vu? It looks almost exactly like the “almond” bar, only this time the top layer of frosting has small blue flecks sprinkled throughout. The white “yogurt” undercoating tastes about the same, but this bar has a sort of strange, artificial berry taste throughout. Sort of like cough medicine. This one atleast has more flavor to it, which makes it a bit more desirable were I to pick out one of these again.
Trudging through the bar, I feared it would be like the last without any substantial pieces of their name sake, when out of no where – I was truly surprised – I bit into a plump, juicy blueberry! Woah, where did that come from!
As I continued it eat my Luna bar, I began to like it more and more, and by the time I had finished, I might actually venture to say that it was… Okay! Not bad, and I’d eat it again if I had one… But I don’t think I would specifically pick it out if I had other choices.
Like the blueberry flavor, this bar gave of a strange miscellaneous “berry” smell, but this time when I dug in, it turned out to have close to no discernible taste whatsoever. If one were to simply look at it, it would be impossible to guess what variety they had attempted to pull off here, and even sampling a bit probably would give you few additional hints.
Occasionally, there’s a dark, mushy smudge of what I suppose is meant to be a piece of strawberry, but it just tastes sour and fake. Other than that, I really have nothing else to point out that makes this bar interesting by itself or any different from the others. Perhaps they should just call it “Mystery” flavor, because whatever you may interpret yours to taste like, it is certainly nothing like strawberries and crème.
I wanted so badly to like this, since I’m such a fan of the original Luna bars and there are so many health components of these, but sadly… I really can’t see any reason to go out and buy these again. Give it a try for yourself – Who knows, you may like it. However, it’s back to good old Iced Oatmeal Raisin and Chai Luna bars for me.
Where to Buy: Luna Bars are widely distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada. Check the Luna Bar website for a store locator, and to find out about purchasing in other international locations. Luna Sunrise Bars can be purchased directly from Clif Bar online, but are much cheaper on Amazon.