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‘800-Year-Old Recipe’ Employed In Energy Bar

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[leadin]With a spicy, sweet taste and its recipe ostensibly dredged from a cookbook used in the Middle Ages, a to-be-released bar from Clif is unlike anything the outdoors world has seen.[/leadin]

Gary’s Panforte bar

Called “Gary’s Panforte,” the limited edition flavor goes on sale in May. GearJunkie got a sneak peek (sneak taste?) this month, and we immediately liked the old-world flavor, which drew quick comparisons to spice cakes and “things you eat at Christmas,” as one staffer put it.

The taste of the Panforte is a mix of spicy and sweet, a nutty, bready flavor with a hint of ginger and cloves off the back. There are large chunks of pistachios in view, and the bars were among the freshest tasting we’ve ever tried.

As the name says, the bar is based off the traditional Italian dessert panforte, which is a type of fruit and nut cake. The word breaks down to “pan” (bread) and “forte”(strong). The resulting “strong bread” is a dense and spicy-sweet concoction, calorie-rich and not too unlike modern energy bars today.

Now and then: Clif company founder Gary Erickson with “20th anniversary” bar (right) and archive photo of Erickson pedaling a pass in the Italian Alps

The creation of Gary’s Panforte, named by the company founder, Gary Erickson, is said to come from “a traditional 800-year-old Italian recipe” and motivated by Erickson’s time spent bike touring in Italy. They also are the company’s official “20th anniversary” bar, a special recipe to celebrate two decades in the business.

Like all Clif bars, the Panforte has many organic ingredients, fruit bits and nuts. There are no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Clif will sell the bars for $1.39 online and via its nationwide retailer network starting on May 1.

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