Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Product Review: Bakery on Main

Fiber Power Triple Berry Granola

Bakery on Main, based in Glastonbury, CT, is a natural foods company offering basically two types of gluten-free products: loose granola, and granola bars. They're made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, with gluten-free ingredients, and are in-house tested for gluten. All good things.

The products are now available in most states, and the website has a convenient store locator so you can find a retailer near you.

Granola Bars

The granola bars are made from a base of rice (rice syrup, crisp rice, rice flour), corn, soy and a variety of seeds (sunflower, sesame, flax). They come in three flavors: peanut butter chocolate chip, extreme trail mix, and cranberry maple nut.

On the average, the bars are quite tasty. They're chewy (though sometimes a little sticky to hold in your hand sans wrapper), and have a nice blend of flavors. But, the individual varieties themselves lack uniqueness. All three granola bar flavors pretty much taste like the same thing. For the peanut butter chocolate chip, both the peanut and chocolate flavors are too subtle. The cranberry maple nut sometimes tastes a bit like cranberry, but tastes nothing like maple (and in fact, maple is not even listed on the ingredients). And the extreme trail mix tastes most like sunflower seeds. In fact, for all three flavors, the seeds - and especially the sunflower seeds - came through strongest.

Again, the granola bars don't taste bad. In fact, they're quite good. But don't set your expectations based on the flavor listed on the wrapper.

Extreme Fruit & Nut Granola

Loose Granola

The story is much the same for the granola, which tastes like a drier, crunchier, loose version of the bars. The one standout is the Fiber Power Triple Berry Granola, which stands apart from every other granola and granola bar we tasted. It has nice berry flavor, and the use of GF oats make the base for this one different than the others. Even so, it's a bit too dry and cake-y in the mouth for my taste, and I most enjoyed it coupled with a tall glass of water to wash it down.

Bottom line: Bakery on Main offers up tasty options for both loose and bar-form gluten-free granola. Sure, the flavors all taste relatively the same. But don't sweat it. At least this way, if your local supermarket is out of one flavor, you know you can go with another without deviating too much from what you already know and like!

- Pete

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