REVIEW: Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark & Cowgirl Bark
Cowboys vs. Indians. We’ve all played it before, right? Well, tonight we are playing a MUCH more controversial version of it as we pit Cowboys against Cowgirls. Oh, calm down… it’s 2015. If we’ve learned anything from Ronda Rousey, it’s that women are unstoppable ass-kicking machines. We’ve also learned that Cowboys are extremely beatable. With that, we will be pitting Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark against Trader Joe’s Cowgirl Bark.
Let’s meet our competitors:
Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark is described as “dark chocolate with toffee, pretzels, Joe Joe cookies, peanuts, almonds and a sprinkling of salt.”
Trader Joe’s Cowgirl Bark is described as “white chocolate with crisp rice, triple ginger cookies, pretzels, cranberries, almonds and peanuts.”
Pre-Match Analysis: Cowboy Bark is subtitled “Ruggedly Adventuersome,” while Cowgirl Bark doesn’t even get a descriptor. So much for equal opportunity; this heavily favors Cowboy Bark. Cowboy Bark features dominant dark chocolate while Cowgirl Bark features softer white chocolate. Again, Cowboy Bark with the advantage. Cowboy Bark, however, uses a simple and safe formula of pretzels, nuts, and toffee, while Cowgirl Bark uses a much more complex formula with rice, triple ginger cookies, pretzels, nuts, and cranberries. Women, in my experience, are complicated lionesses and the fact that this recipe is bat-shit crazy swings the pendulum right back into the Cowgirl Bark’s corner.
We’ll start with ladies first, because chivalry.
Trader Joe’s Cowgirl Bark is made with some of the finest white chocolate I’ve had in recent memory. It’s brilliantly creamy with a strong vanilla flavor. This bark is texturally wonderful, with some bites offering crispy pretzels and other bites offering chewy cranberries. The pretzels don’t offer enough salt to enhance the white chocolate flavor. The triple ginger cookies, disappointingly, need more ginger spice. Bites with lots of cranberry, however, offer a subtle, sweet yet tart punch that plays nicely with the white chocolate. All of the other elements are difficult to distinguish aside from offering some really playful textures when you snap into it. Really, the white chocolate is the star here and it’s so tasty that I can endorse this product despite its flaws. The Cowgirl Bark might be all over the place with its ingredients, but together they do contribute to a pretty unique experience.
Pretty Complicated Like Most Women Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Dat White Chocolate Tho Rating: 10 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10
Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark also features extremely high quality dark chocolate that is so perfectly seasoned with salt. Salted dark chocolate is all the rage right now, and the ratio used here is damn near flawless. Like with the Cowgirl Bark, the dark chocolate does monopolize the flavor as the rest of the ingredients take a back seat. Joe Joe Cookies are basically Trader Joe’s version of Oreos, and the chocolate cookie bits don’t add anything here. The peanuts add some roasted flavor when you’re lucky to get a bite covered in them, but the toffee bits aren’t plentiful enough to balance the salted chocolate. Texturally, I do appreciate the presence of all the components, but it’s still a letdown that the other ingredients are reduced to third-string reserves. This duel comes down to a battle of the chocolates. Sorry ladies, but dark chocolate with sea salt is always going to be an extremely violent powerhouse that no white chocolate can defeat.
Asserts Physical Dominance Rating: 10 out of 10
Emotionally Weaker than Cowgirl Bark Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
Both the Cowgirl Bark and the Cowboy Bark are high-quality chocolate bars that throw a bunch of other crap at you to induce a purchase. It’s ok to be fooled in this instance. The base chocolate is great, and the textures of the other components make for a fun mouth party that you don’t want to miss.