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Q:

What's the Best-Tasting Energy Bar?

I’m training for a triathlon, and I need to take in a lot of calories when I’m on the bike or trail. That often means eating energy bars, which get old fast. What's the best bar for alleviating taste fatigue?

michael fuller chef tj buckley's energy bars taste test outside gear guy bob parks

Michael Fuller prepares to test a few energy bars.     Photo: Courtesy of Bob Parks

A:Energy bars used to be a convenient-yet-bland way to grab quick calories while training or through-hiking. But over the last few years, energy food makers have been battling to see who can make the tastiest product. Many of the new entries, with organic ingredients and relatively little sugar, are almost unrecognizable from the Powerbars of old. Bar makers makers have also upped their game with real chunks of fruit, exotic spices, and subtle flavors.

After calling in over a dozen new products to try, we realized our palates were probably too crude to judge the flavors well. So we visited gourmet chef Michael Fuller, owner of T.J. Buckley’s, a restaurant that both the Frommer's and Fodor’s guides call one of the top fine dining experiences in Vermont. Fuller serves up entrees like local rabbit leg stuffed with Swiss chard and double-smoked bacon, with meals often running more than $100 per person. Besides cooking, the chef bikes several several hours a week on his Cannondale Lefty 29er hardtail.

After sampling all the energy bars in Fuller’s small dining room, the chef chose these two as his favorites.

Kind Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt
Clif Bar Sierra Trail Mix

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