I’ll be honest – my first contact with MuleBar products was via the free sample dish at an outdoors show. In my defense, it wasn’t my fault; I like food and the packaging was just too shiny to miss. Of course I felt obliged to take a taste… which in turn led me to walk away from the stand with a box of products under my arm (for scientific testing purposes, you understand).
The idea behind MuleBar energy bars was founded in a snow hole at around 6200m up Cerro Aconcagua in the Andes in 2002. Upon their return to the New Forest on the Hampshire/Wiltshire boarder, the chaps concerned vowed to produce a range of 100% natural products that you can actually eat and comfortably digest whilst out on your adventure.
With a premise that ‘what is natural is good’, MuleBar use locally-sourced, organic and Fairtrade products where possible (even their non-organic goodies are 90%). They also use the services of Matt Lovell, England RFU nutritional advisor, so you can see they’re determined to give you the good stuff.
But what are the bars actually like? Well, I’ve been (not-so-scientifically) testing the 65g offerings throughout the year, mostly whilst out walking and on photo shoots – and I have to say, they are delicious. They look like very shiny flapjacks, but are not sticky to the touch; in taste tests, my good lady and I agreed that ‘chewy gooey’ is actually a pretty spot-on description.
You might think that such a modest serving would have no real effect, but these bars are surprisingly filling; just the job when you need that little ‘something’ to keep you going. My argument has always been that I’d rather have a nutritious snack on hand rather than the typical fayre available at the nearest petrol station.
My personal favourite is the Apple, Cinnamon & Raisin flavour; the apple is quite subtle and, oddly enough, there is a slight hint of filo pastry about it. Also, the intriguingly-named Hunza Nut (which smells of golden syrup) is worth a look; it gives you a satisfying apple/date taste. The Mango Tango is really cheek-smackingly zingy and as much as I hate to admit it, the Liquorice Allsports is actually quite nice, too. I’m not usually a fan of liquorice, you see.
Summary: When your belly needs feeding whilst on the go, it makes sense to feed it good, clean food. Seriously, give these a go. MuleBar have done a great job in balancing great-tasting products with the ethics to support their core beliefs.
Price: £36 for 24 bars