Aspen Times Weekly: Good Goo | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Times Weekly: Good Goo

by Stephen Regenold

Working with outdoors athletes and its in-house chefs, Clif Bar & Company developed a new kind of energy food advertised as the “next generation of sports nutrition.”

Lab-developed supplements are not included. Instead, you get tomato puree. You get ingredients like olive oil, beets, yeast flakes, and potatoes.

The flavors are a vast departure, including a pizza offering, sweet potato, and a banana-beet-with-ginger concoction.

They come in pouches used by baby-food companies. Screw off the cap and squeeze, then wait for the all-organic goo to hit your tongue.

It sounds strange, but Clif is onto something — in a category ruled by sweet tastes a salty, pizza and potatoes angle has a niche.

I tested out the whole line this week. The Pizza Margherita flavor is a puree with ingredients like quinoa, garlic powder, oregano, and sunflower seed butter. It offers 160 calories in a 4-ounce pouch.

Pizza goo tastes like a strong, slightly spiced tomato paste. Its texture is more like marinara sauce than yogurt, and it has a distinct nutty finish.

The Banana Beet With Ginger might sound disgusting. But its flavor is overwhelmingly banana, and it has a feel in the mouth much like a smoothie. A hint of beet in the background adds a savory zing.

Banana Mango With Coconut was good, and it tastes just as the name portends — sweet and tropical but not overpowering.

The sweet potato product was not as palatable. I grabbed a glass of water immediately after eating the orange goo. It was at first very salty, then the flavor shifted hard to an overwhelming tangy yam taste.

Clif has created a possibly polarizing new product type with the line. I love that the company is pushing boundaries (and taste buds) in its quest toward a perfect eat-outdoors food. Try them if you crave salt, veggies, and “real food” in a convenient, pre-made package while on the trail.

Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at http://www.gearjunkie.com.


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