If you are not familiar with EPIC bars and their other products these are the real deal (www.epicbar.com)! By that I mean they actually use natural ingredients (i.e. real animal meat) to maximize the health and nutritional value of their products. For this particular review I will be looking specifically at their EPIC Bars (I will be following up with a review of their Hunt and Harvest Mixes). The description from their website reads:
EPIC Bar, the original meat, fruit, and nut bar, is a savory high protein snack designed to inspire your most EPIC adventures. Consistent with the simple yet powerful diets consumed by our ancestors, the EPIC Bar is packed with the highest quality animal meat available. Each bar is rich in protein, low in sugar, gluten free, grain free, and absent of both soy and dairy. Live EPIC, Eat EPIC!
Another point I would like to make is that I have been fortunate enough to trial some of their newly released Wild Game Bars which include wild caught salmon, grass fed venison, and wild boar. As a hunter I was very excited to get my hands on these since they hit close to home. Per the EPIC website:
Unleash your wild side with a new line of EPIC products consistent with the evolutionary diets of our ancestors. Our wild game products are inspired by simple and time-tested hunters recipes and developed to highlight the unique and flavorful taste of these exotic animals. Each flavor is curated from high quality wild game meat and guaranteed to inspire your greatest adventures. Live Wild, Eat Wild.
Without further delay I’ll jump right in and tell you about what I found and my thoughts on EPIC Bars.
Wild Game – Salmon w/ Sea Salt and Pepper
90 calories, 13 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 3 grams carbs
Ingredients: Wild caught salmon, lactic acid, sea salt, cracked pepper, celery powder, onion powder, garlic powder
My Thoughts: The bar was very firm and densely packed. Even though it was fish, it was not oily or slimy in any way. The fish taste was actually very mild compared to what I expected so you won’t be overwhelmed when eating this bar. The cracked pepper was used very liberally so it does have some spice to it. That’s not a bad thing, I’m just warning you in case you don’t like your food with a little bite. The meat was not dry but you’ll probably want to have some water handy to help wash it down as this is a very densely packed bar. That’s a good thing since so much nutrition is packed into such a small package. You could actually see some of the flaky fish texture in some of the bites so you know it’s real fish and not totally pulverized in a grinder.
Summary: This is a very unique product in that it is made of fish. Don’t let that scare you away though as the taste is great and on top of the protein content it’s a great way to get some more fish into your everyday diet. You could throw it on the grill and serve on a bed of rice with a side of asparagus if you’re into fine dining!
Wild Game – Wild Boar with Uncured Bacon
150 calories, 9 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 10 grams carbs
Ingredients: Texas wild boar (pork, water, brown sugar, salt, vinegar, celery powder), dried cranberries, lactic acid, celery powder, sea salt
My Thoughts: The bar was super tender and tangy. It had slight hints of vinegar and the sweetness of the cranberries. There seemed to be a taste of smoked meat hidden somewhere in the mix. The bar was moist and all around pleasant to eat. It was like diving into a real, tender, cut of pork.
Summary: Very palatable bar due to the sweet and slightly smoky taste with a few extra carbs from the cranberries if you’re looking for a little quick energy.
Wild Game – Venison w/ Sea Salt and Pepper
80 calories, 12 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 2 grams carbs
Ingredients: Grass fed venison, lactic acid, sea salt, celery powder, cracked pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
My Thoughts: The venison bars had a nice, peppery, jerky taste to it. The pepper was not overpowering so anyone should enjoy these. The meat was neither moist, nor dry, it was just right and tender to the bite. It does give you the true taste of venison rather than a mild beef flavor. Each bite gave me the primal feeling of tearing into a fresh, life sustaining, chunk of meat rather than a dried out processed piece of shoe leather.
Summary: The recipe and basis behind the venison bars was well thought out. EPIC gives you that traditional jerky flavor but disguise it in a wild, meaty, enjoyable package.
100 calories, 15 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 1 g carbs
Ingredients: Chicken, sea salt, red pepper flake, lactic acid, organic chia seed, garlic, paprika, onion, celery powder, red pepper, black pepper, cumin, oregano
My Thoughts: This bar actually has a bit of chicken texture to it and not just ground mystery meat. The moisture content was just right to make it a very palatable bar. I do need to comment that this baby is spicy! I’m not 100% sure what language sriracha derives from or what it translates to but I’ll tell you it means hot. I like a little heat in my food so I was pleasantly surprised but for the unsuspecting taster it may come as a bit of a shock. I will follow that comment with the fact that it had great taste to complement the extra warmth.
Summary: This is not a glorified chicken nugget, it’s a certified piece of real chicken. It brings fieriness and flavor to the table and 15 grams of muscle building protein. You could crumble this bar up on a tortilla and have some amazing chicken soft tacos.
Bison w/ Bacon and Cranberry
200 calories, 11 grams protein, 12 grams fat, 10 grams carbs
Ingredients: Bison, bacon (pork, water, brown sugar, salt, vinegar, celery powder), dried cranberries, lactic acid, celery powder, sea salt
My Thoughts: The bison bar was very soft (but not mushy) and tangy. The meat actually carries some moisture in it and is ever so slightly sweet. I’m not overly familiar with bison meat but if it’s anything like what EPIC used in this bar I hope to find some in the near future.
Summary: Anyone could eat this bar and find it to be a gratifying experience. Cut this guy into some small pieces and serve on a cracker with some garnish and you could have a classy party and no one would be any more the wiser as to what they were eating. Which in reality, what they would be eating would be a very healthy hors d’oeuvres!
Uncured Bacon and Pork
130 calories, 15 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 0 grams carbs
Ingredients: Uncured bacon (pork, water, sea salt, vinegar, celery powder, lactic acid)
My Thoughts: The meat just falls apart in your mouth, then melts. It gives a slight bacon flavor without the excess salt. It was moist but not fatty and slimy. A very straight forward meaty taste.
Summary: If you like tender pork, then you’ll like this. Especially since it comes with 15 grams of protein and no carbs.
Both EPIC original and wild game bars should have a place in your home, car, workplace, gym bag, hunting pack, or wherever you might need something to eat. These are not glorified candy bars or shoe leather jerky. They use real meat (grass fed nonetheless) and ingredients that I can pronounce. If that wasn’t enough, they taste great and pack a lot of protein into a relatively small and light package. So if you haven’t already tried them I suggest you do, they won’t disappoint.