It melts in your mouth, not in your backpack |

It melts in your mouth, not in your backpack

Kelly J. Hayes

Are you the kind of hiker/biker/skier who likes to give yourself a little reward when you finish your workout? Something like … chocolate?Sure you do. But the problem with chocolate has always been that it melts. Nothing worse than a Hershey bar mucking up the pocket of your CamelBak.

Not anymore. Thanks to an ex-Breckenridge ski instructor turned Santa Fe chocolatier, outdoor enthusiasts have been blessed with a new product called Packer’s Pate. No it’s not made of goose liver and, yes, anybody can enjoy it, even if you’re not a backpacker.Packer’s Pate is a rich, quarter-pound bar of the finest Ghana chocolate encased in a swirl of colorful Dutch cheese wax. The wax, which like the chocolate is made by artisans in Santa Fe, ingeniously keeps the chocolate from melting. It is, in fact, weatherproof chocolate. Even in the middle of summer. (How does it know?)

Regardless of how it does it, Packer’s Pate package really works. Say you’re climbing Sopris on a sunny Sunday. You reach the false summit and realize that you’ve still got another coupla’ hundred yards to go. Just focus on that hunk of chocolate wrapped in wax that’s sitting in your backpack. With that kind of incentive you’ll surely go the extra mile, metaphorically speaking of course.Once atop your peak take out your Swiss Army knife and slice a section of the wax to reveal the dark, silky, ganachelike chocolate inside. It will make the view that much sweeter.

There are five different flavors ranging from plain “Dark Chocolate” for the purist, to the slightly spicy “Orange Chili Chocolate” for those whose palates are a little more adventurous. “Chocolate Peanut Butter” is the favorite of this packer. The handmade chocolates use a 72 percent bittersweet chocolate blend and are combined with organic ingredients sourced from around the Santa Fe region. Packer’s Pate is available at the Ute Mountaineer in Aspen for $10 a bar. You can also find it at Val’s Gourmet in Basalt, or check it out the on Internet at It’s a little something extra to help you get to the top.

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