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Monday, April 27, 2015

Snack Nation: Dark Chocolate Bars and Inca Berry Energy

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 4:00 PM

click image Ocho candy bars: caramel & peanut, peanut butter, coconut, dark coffee, and mocha. - OCHO FACEBOOK
  • Ocho Facebook
  • Ocho candy bars: caramel & peanut, peanut butter, coconut, dark coffee, and mocha.
Live in San Francisco long enough, and you may feel a tad guilty about how few times you’ve hiked the Marin Headlands. Maybe your hikes skew more urban and gritty, trekking the mean streets of the Mission to SOMA a few times a month. Some snack-y products mean you don’t have to pony up $4 for a mediocre muffin somewhere en route. Rule #1: snacks should be easy to stow in that purse, murse, or fanny pack if you must break all fashion laws. While these are organic products, they are mainly enjoyable based on taste, ingredients and packability.

click to enlarge Sample bars for hikes, the office and beyond - MARY LADD
  • Mary Ladd
  • Sample bars for hikes, the office and beyond
Patagonia — yup, they don't just make hiking clothes anymore! —  wins the prize for including Inca berry with baobab and the ever-trendy chia in its new Provisions bar. (There’s also almond and pear in this version). The texture is similar to a gourmet Fig Newton, with pleasing fruity notes. You'll feel and taste the chia but in a mild and sweet way. Patagonia’s fiber content may help with any “bathroom issues” but yeesh if you get stuck on 9th and Harrison, desperately looking for a place to take care of business immediately. 

Clif’s organic dark chocolate almond sea salt trail mix bar reminds me of what I used to think of as the best snack bar around, from Kind snacks. Answering whether this genre serves a candy bar or health bar depends on who your Facebook friends are. I’ll gladly chime in by glomming onto the idea that humans should eat quality dark chocolate daily, and the chunkiness in the Clif's bar makes it easy to do just that. Alternatively, the Food Should Taste Good folks, known for their BIG white bags of healthy chips & crackers have a forthcoming new hazelnut & almond bar with Madagascar vanilla that is dipped in fair trade cocoa - the orange zest adds a citrusy and interesting surprise. Check it out in stores in June.

Ocho organic candy bars are fair trade, small batch, and remind me of all the Snickers, Babe Ruths, and candy I greedily gobbled down at the movies as a kid. Ocho rocks zero artificial flavors, preservatives, or filters — and really saves the bacon when you may be overly grumpy and feeling low on energy at the dreaded 3 p.m. slump. At 1.4 ounces a pop, it's easy to eat one without sharing, but if your hiking partner is particularly intriguing, then share the snack wealth.

Send cacao and snacktastic thoughts to writereadeat at gmail. 

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Mary Ladd


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