In the Pacific Northwest, hiking season is any time despite our often dreary weather and discounting any harsh meteorological conditions. I won’t put it pass some daredevils out there to actually make a go of it even with severe weather alerts. Nature abounds in PacNW and hiking trails are gorgeous, so who can blame a free spirit.
With spring in full and summer just around the corner, hiking has really ramped up, and with hikers come their favorite minimalist portable snacks. Apples are my favorite after a good hike (and a heavy shake or smoothie to sate me on the ride home) but during the hike itself, I like something nutrient dense, preferably protein dense. In comes EPIC, which are meat bars we found while in Whole Foods Redmond. Yes, meat bars.
We also saw EPIC’s turkey bars but there were so many that we decided not to get one; we thought there’d still be a lot left available on our next grocery outing. Surprise! There weren’t any more EPIC bars the following week. At $2.99 each, they’re pricier than other protein bars (e.g. Go Lean Kashi bars at $1.09 each, Clif Mojo bars at $0.99 each), so we didn’t want to buy any more than enough for a taste test.
The EPIC lamb bar is made of organic lamb, organic currants, sea salt, lactic acid (not from milk), celery powder, spices (basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, red pepper, black pepper), sesame seeds, dehydrated spearmint leaves, and dehydrated lemon peel. If you’re wondering what the white blot you’re seeing on the photo is, it’s fat.
The bar’s texture is unsurprisingly moist for a meat bar, but then again it’s almost like a meat loaf slice, so if it’s any drier, you might as well have a jerky. Both The Hubby and I were not keen on the taste. It tasted strongly sour for us. I understand that lactic acid is used as a preservative, but the lactic acid with the dehydrated lemon peel pushed what’s supposed to be tangy to the sour end. It’s enough to say that we’ll pass on this one if we come by it again.
The ingredients for the EPIC beef bar is as follows: organic beef, walnuts, dried cherries, lactic acid (not from milk), salt, celery powder, fine black pepper, and crushed habanero. The beef bar has more fat content than the lamb bar, but the taste is beefy and not overwhelmed by the seasonings. The texture is similar to meatball but slightly mushy.
For what would be a long and tiring hike, I’d be happy to have an EPIC beef bar as my lembas. For the meat-haters out there, these bars are obviously not for you. Luckily, many protein bars out there are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. For those of you who’d like a really filling bar for your energy draining activities, EPIC bars are worth a try.