Epic’s Bison Uncured Bacon and Cranberry Bar

Mmm, bison.  I love game meat, and I cannot lie.  Throw in some dried cranberries and I’m in heaven.  Epic does me one better with their Bison Bar; they added bacon into the mix.  How can I say no?

The bar is soft and chewy, with flecks of bacon and pieces of whole dried cranberries scattered throughout.  Each bite gets you a triumvirate of tastes, and while I wasn’t sure how the three would play together, it’s a lovely blend.  Think high plains Thanksgiving, but without that gross green bean casserole. (Yeah, I loved that glop when I was a kid. We all did.  But now it’s just too much beige goo. Nobody with any kind of palate likes beige goo.)

Is this a meat-based energy bar?  A breakfast bar for meat junkies like me? Well, it’s kinda both, with a bit of Native American callback thrown in. Epic says that this bar is a “unique, modern-day take on a Plains Indian staple food, pemmican”.  While traditional pemmican is eaten boiled, fried or “raw” (using quotes here, as the meat in pemmican has already been prepared by drying), Epic has taken the mix and made it into a bar that’s vacuum sealed and easily portable.  

My issue with this bar is that it tries to claim too much. Using it as a pick-me-up will hardly “exceed your energy demands”.  At 130 calories and 7 grams of protein, it may tide you over ‘til the next hill, but definitely not much more than that. By the time I’m halfway up Thurmont, I’d be starving.  Again. However, these bars are easily slid into the side pocket of your cargo pants, so grabbing a second one won’t mean having to disassemble your pack. And while this sucker is sealed tight, a nice notch in the plastic helps open up the seal and gets you to the yummy in no time.

Folks that need to avoid gluten will love that this bar is gluten-free, and carb watchers should like that the bar packs a mere 8 grams of carbs (including a gram of fiber.) But as the nutrition for this bar isn’t great – 6% calcium and 4% iron are the only or minerals listed with a percentage above zero – I definitely wouldn’t recommend it as a mainstay.  Delicious, chewy supplement to your mainstay? Absolutely. But don’t believe the Epic hype.

Think of this as a snick-snack, and you can enjoy this delicious bar as it should be enjoyed; as a treat.  But folks looking for a long-term hunger basher and/or meal replacement will want to look elsewhere. Or maybe shove three of these bad boys into your gaping maw and wash it down with a Propel. Do you.


Denise Kitashima Dutton has been a reviewer since 2003, and hopes to get the hang of things any moment now. She believes that bluegrass is not hell in music form, and that beer is better when it’s a nitro pour. Besides GMR, you can find her at Atomic Fangirl, Movie-Blogger.com, or at that end seat at the bar, multi-tasking with her Kindle.