While this picture makes it look like I went out and bought a Snickers bar and an Almond Joy, let me assure, I have not fallen off the vegan wagon. And let me also assure you: life is about get better for vegans who like a little junk food on occasion.
A couple of weeks ago, both Ken from Cosmos and Chad from Food Fight made cryptic comments on their respective twitter streams about vegan versions of popular candy bars that they had just tried and would soon be carrying. I gently nudged Ken for some info, got it, and before long had two of my own candy bars to try out.
The company is Go Max Go and is run by two long-time vegans (11+ years) who had an unfulfilled hankering for the “chocolatey, nougaty, caramely, peanutty, almondy, coconutty crazy” candy bars of their pre-vegan days. While their site obviously can’t mention which big name bars that theirs bear a resemblance to, the names and descriptions hint at it (the Jokerz is like a vegan Snickers, the Twilight bar mimics a Milky Way, the Buccaneer is similar to a Three Musketeers, and the Mahalo is reminiscent of an Almond Joy). The bars have no animal ingredients (and, therefore, no cholesterol), hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or artificial ingredients.
The two bars above are the ones I was able to sample. On the left is the Jokerz bar and on the right is the Mahalo.
When I was in college, I had a number of 8am computer science classes. Not being a morning person, I rolled out of bed at 7:55 and walked to my class, not getting breakfast until afterwards. I always had a Snickers bar with me because it kept me full (and was cheap and readily accessible). I certainly haven’t had one in the last four-and-a-half years and I probably haven’t had one in nearly ten.
The Jokerz bar is a tad thinner than the traditional Snickers bar, but let me tell you: the taste is all there. The peanuts, the caramel, and the nougat. Oh, the nougat. The chocolate is rice milk-based, but is much truer to the traditional milk chocolate taste and texture than other rice milk chocolate bars I’ve tried. I detected no funny aftertaste at all (though my wife said she could taste a very, very slight hint of rice, she was still incredibly impressed by the bar).
The Mahalo bar is also very true to its Almond Joy inspiration. It has just the right balance of coconut and almonds. I’m pretty sure I moaned out loud when I took my first bite.
Both bars were thoroughly enjoyed by both my wife and my two-and-a-half year old daughter. (Side note: it makes me so happy that there all of these great “vegan equivalents” popping up. It’s going to make it a lot easier on her when she’s eating with friends. She won’t feel like she’s missing out on anything because she’s vegan.)
While there have been some forays into vegan versions of classic candy bars in the past, most of them have been too “healthy” tasting (I love you, carob, but…) or come in tiny little packages that rival “Fun Size” bars. The sample bars I got were full size candy bars and hopefully they’ll be available in that size when they hit the streets. I also hope they’re available in boxes of 100 that I could have automatically delivered to my face each month, but that may be wishful thinking.
I really can’t speak highly enough about these candy bars. If a good candy bar is one of those things you’ve missed as a vegan or if a Milky Way is your last non-vegan vice, Go Max Go has you covered. I can’t wait for these to become available later this year just so I can hear what you all have to say about them.
Go Max Go Foods