With ‘feral swine’ printed on the label, this jerky substitute is unlike anything you can find on the shelf… and with a gamey taste to prove it.
Most bars are pure sugar and carbs, chewy, baked creations that roll off a factory line. EPIC offers something totally different with its “meat performance bars.”
The EPIC niche is meat, obviously, but it’s not normal carne. The company sells grass-fed, organic options as well as bars tagged as “wild game.”
Three flavors grace the new line — salmon, venison, and the amazingly marketed “wild boar used from feral swine” (with bacon and dried cranberries).
Wild Boar Taste Test
The bars come shrink-wrapped and ready to tear open and eat. With some hesitation, I delved into the nitty gritty (literally) to see what all the fuss was about.
Eager to please the readers (and upon my editor’s strict instructions), I immediately reached for the boar bar. Like other EPIC bars, it is thicker and softer than jerky, with nine grams of protein and only 170 calories.
The bar isn’t too appetizing to look at (see below), but once you catch a whiff of bacon after opening it, eating it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
Biting into a wild boar bar isn’t all that different from a granola bar, only instead of organic rolled oats, it’s wild salty swine meat – mostly chewy, a little gristly. The initial flavor is very much ham and bacon, but there’s another flavor lurking in the background, tough to identify, but I’m pretty sure it’s what mammoth tasted like when they roamed the Earth.
This is probably why EPIC added brown sugar, apple juice, and cranberries – a rush of sweet overtakes the gamey flavor of razorback hog. Indeed, the overall taste is more sweet than anything else.
The deer and salmon bars were far less exotic, with the fish winning out as best tasting — it was delicious and surprisingly meaty, including a lot of black pepper and salt. Salmon is the best of the three, but it was very dry.
EPIC’s venison, in my opinion, was mild and not too salty, similar to unflavored beef jerky. However, a slight pungent, gamy aftertaste was not pleasant.
The verdict? In the end, the wild boar bar from EPIC is not one I see keeping in my travel pack, but only because it is too sweet. The meaty flavor was interesting, though my nod goes toward the salmon as overall winner.
The Wild Game line is a healthy option from a company that is committed to producing high quality products that aren’t artificially flavored. If you are a committed carnivore the entire line is worth trying out.