We have trained ourselves to reach for a sweet snack between meals. Break this behavior chain and you will find yourself with a world of convenient options for that 3pm craving.
You know I rarely review products, but I do enjoy the tasting process. When I discover a new commodity that captures my attention, I dive in, teeth first. In this case, the Epic Bar positions itself squarely between beef jerky and a Snickers bar, standing superior to both.
Bars of all varieties are processed. If you have the option to go for a perfectly spiced steak and a fresh bowl of cherries, take it. Sometimes you need a quick option in a shiny package though, so let’s keep the playing field level for our comparisons.
The Epic Bar is more like your old pal, the Slim Jim, than your new friend, the Clif Bar. It’s going to slam your savory requirements first, but the makers of this bar got cute. They added a hint of sweetness with dried cherries and walnuts, helping to knock out that sugar craving with fewer grams (9) than most bars (23 in the Clif Bars).
Time to get to the meat (see? I’m funny) of the post.
The basic premise of the Epic bar is that it’s not a traditional protein bar. Rather than stuff the product with whey isolate or some other concoction, its base is animals of the humanely treated variety.
From Epic’s website:
We set the industry standards by sourcing our meats from ranchers that we deem epic. We mandate proof of certifications, which validate that our animals receive the utmost humane treatment. We believe that epic animals should always live pasture centered lives where turkeys forage, pigs wallow, and buffalo roam. This is the way nature intended animals to be and we see ourselves as leaders in recognizing the value of sustainable and responsible animal welfare practices.
I can dig that, and I’ll trust their implementation of their philosophies until I hear otherwise, although I encourage you to research this on your own.
If the bulk of this snack is responsibly raised, managed and slaughtered animal flesh, then let’s explore the important additions, as they add flavor.
My favorite variety contains the following ingredients, according to the one I’m holding in my hand:
Organic beef, walnuts, dried cherries, lactic acid, salt, celery powder, fine black pepper and crushed habanero.
Assuming you’re the average man or woman with food curiosity, you might be wondering about lactic acid. You’ve likely had the other ingredients in your pantry at one time or another, so I assume you can judge them accordingly.
Our bodies form lactic acid naturally. It forms as the body converts carbohydrates into energy during periods of low oxygen levels, which can occur with intense physical exercise. In foods, lactic acid either occurs naturally, or a synthesized form is added as a flavoring or preservative agent.
In this case, it’s a preservative. This package comes with that little “do not eat” packet that looks like a mini condom (sorry, when I have a mind bubble, I share). These packets are produced by a company called Multisorb technologies, whose tagline “Protect Your Product’s Quality. Extend its Shelf or Service Life,”makes me think of a Twinkie (and subsequently sort of ill).
Okay, so that’s not bad. Let’s erase the unpleasant associations by taking a bite. The smell will bring you right to your beef jerky memory. Unlike your average jerky, however, it’s not at all chewy or tough. On the contrary, it boasts the subtle moisture that you’d hope for with meat. The texture has a mild crunch, almost crumbly, and the taste is ever so slightly sweet and spicy. The bar’s whole package (see what I did?) is savory and tasty, deserving of high marks for flavor.
So this isn’t the perfect snack, but we’re not always on a perfection mission. We simply want to perform more admirably than we did yesterday. We can comfortably call this a solid between meals option that will support our active lifestyle.
With appreciation for its convenience,