9-1-11 — Funny how your kids grow up, move away, and expand your concept of "local". When our son lived in Costa Rica for five years I learned to love Costa Rican coffee that I can get at the Cheese Shoppe, as good as on the slopes of Volcan Barva. Our daughter in Wyoming ran into a couple on the lift in Jackson Hole last January and found out that they were from Hollidaysburg and partners in an energy bar business based out there in the Tetons. As a bar purchaser for the foods lab twice a year, I was happy to hear of an energy bar with a local connection--that tastes great. Each year my students evaluate candy, granola, supplement and energy bars in a complicated assignment designed to teach them sensory evaluation skills. Dr. Pete Bordi's Center for Food Innovation supplies soy bars they are working on, ACLR 8 Recovery bars that taste as good as Gardner's Peanut Butter Meltaway or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. But the energy bars I used in the past--Powerbars, Zone, Advantage--had the texture of shoe leather and palate appeal of a medicine cabinet.
While in Wyoming last month I visited Kate's Real Food, Real Energy production facility in Victor, Idaho and met the woman behind the bar, Kate Schade, and the man who is making her famous, central PA businessman Bruce Thaler. High in calories with organic, wholesome ingredients, Kate's bars provide fuel for athletes who don't have time to sit down for dinner. They are available at the Granary and at Appalachian Outdoor House in State College.You don't have to ride a tram to eat them, and they may make you want to jump for joy.