Saturday, November 21, 2009

Energy Bars

When you're traveling, the food you get to eat can be very variable.  We spent last weekend in Yosemite Valley, which limited our dining options; we mostly ate at the Ahwahnee Hotel, which is Very Good and Very Expensive.  When we came home, however, we had to decide what to do about lunch, since Jim wanted to come home via Crane Flat and Big Oak Flat (I forget which road that is).  Frankly, along that route at this time of year, you can't even rely on an open convenience store until much later in the day than we wanted to eat.  

We were in Curry Village when we decided to get something we could eat sitting in the car, by the roadside somewhere, which meant that "lunch" was "something we can buy in the store at Curry Village."  Jim had the remains of a sandwich from the day before, and he ate that; I decided to get a couple of energy bars.  

They didn't, of course, have any of the ones I like; I've tried both Luna and Clif Bars, and I'm not impressed.  (I like the energy bars Kashi makes.)  But I like peanut butter, so I chose something called "thinkThin," in the "chunky peanut butter" flavor.  This was the strangest energy bar I've ever eaten.  It had no flavor.  It didn't taste of anything; not peanut butter (certainly not chunky peanut butter, since it had a very uniform bland texture), not the chocolate which appeared to coat it.  No flavor at all.

A look at the label (I should have done this first) explains it.  The first ingredient is "protein blend (calcium caseinate, whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate)," followed by glycerin, and sugar-free chocolate coating.  (Maybe that explains the lack of chocolate flavor.)   They claimed it was flavored with "sea salt" but I couldn't taste any salt, either.  In other words, this is sort of "essence of food" without any of the usual characteristics of food like scent, flavor, or texture.  It said it had 8 grams of fat (probably in the chocolate) but I couldn't taste that either.

I ate the thing because it was what I had, and I assumed it had some nutritional value.  It's supposed to help you lose weight.  A diet of those things would drive you to a double cheeseburger with a chocolate milk shake in sheer frustration.  When we finally found an open convenience store, I bought a pair of Reese's Cups, and finally got my peanut butter fix.


  1. nice reminder that while you're traveling always maintain a reasonable diet.

  2. A good idea but not always easy to do...

  3. Great forgotten foods, #8d:

    *thick whole wheat toast slathered with VERY chunky peanut butter, with the densest coffee you can stand--for breakfast, or whenever. When I'm camping or out photographing--nothing as simple or as quick will assuage your hunger.

  4. Your energy bar sounds like the People Chow of my rant on the subject.