Up by the supermarket cash register were these meaty snacks, much to my surprise. An impulse buy for people who aren't into the candy.
What is an Epic Bar? The Web site says it is "Restorative Protein: Heals our body, our livestock and the land we depend on." Kind of a hard sell there on earth friendliess for what are essentially jerky bars. Still, I give them an E for effort---these are no simple Slim Jims, but combinations of fruits, nuts, and cured meats, some of the meats quite exotic for a snack food (wild boar , lamb, and venison, for example).
My store only had this Bison Bacon Cranberry Bar or the plain Chicken, so I went for the Bison. When lunchtime rolled around I asked the Mrs., who likes beef jerky, if she wanted to try it. She had a look at the label and the exposed meat product and reared back, saying, "I'm not eating that."
|Exposed meat product.|
Well, I did eat that, and I was not all that thrilled that I did, I'm sorry to say. It was an interesting treat, the meat cured to the point of preservation but not tough or really bacony. I found the texture a bit off-putting, actually, being like a cold slab of Nerf. I think it was the unfamiliarity that did it to me, though; there's nothing inherently bad about that. Tough and greasy ol' Slim Jims are, on the other hand, quite unpleasant, or so I've always found them to be.
The worst thing was the fruit; the cranberries were just sour, their distinct flavor beaten into submission by the bacon. Without good cranberry taste, dried cranberries lose their raison d'être (raisin d'être? heh). And sourness on its own does not pair well with meat.
I would certainly be willing to try other products in the line, however. The lamb with currants and mint sounds like a good combo all around. And where else, aside from a gourmet prepper's smokehouse, will you find wild boar snacks?
So I think these Epic guys may be on to something, and so did General Mills, so they bought the company. But that slogan -- "Heals our body, our livestock and the land we depend on"? Even if you argue (as Paleo guys will) that the protein is necessary and good for you, and the ranching methods are actually so green they prop up the local ecosystems, I have to wonder about the livestock thing. I mean, this ain't outpatient surgery.