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gary's panforte

What is panforte? All I know is that it’s some Italian food, probably a snack or dessert, that sounds a little like fruitcake here in the USA. And I know that Gary Erickson, founder of Clif Bar, must have liked it, because it’s a new flavor for their bars!

According to Clif Bar:

gary's panforte story

“This bar was inspired by Gary’s rides in Northern Italy and is based on an 800-year-old Italian recipe full of fruit, nuts, and spices.”

Now for anyone looking for a fruitcake-like energy bar or a quick and convenient source of panforte around here, “Gary’s Panforte” is here for you (for a limited time, at least.)

The only thing I remember eating in Italy was pizza, so I have no idea if this bar is authentic, but I can only assume that panforte is as good as or better than fruitcake. And fruitcake is actually pretty good when made correctly, so I had high hopes for this bar.

Gary’s Panforte did not disappoint! Sure, it’s not Italian pizza good, but I’d easily take one of these bars over a chocolate chip cookie or brownie. I’ll have to try homemade panforte now that I’m hooked!

Since I always include a mention of health and nutrition facts, let me just say this – Gary’s Panforte still follows the original Clif Bar formula using organic brown rice syrup plus flavor-specific ingredients, so it’s on par with all the others.

Next, on to the important stuff – the dining experience!

gary's panforte bar

The smell is delightful. It’s like your grandma’s kitchen at Christmas, but all packed into a little foil wrapper. Then you close your eyes and bite into the bar, and it’s like you’re eating real food! The bar is so soft but also gritty and chunky (in a good way) pleasing your mouth even more than a regular Clif Bar.

The taste and texture are similar to fruitcake, but with more nuts and spices. It has figs and pears and other fruits, hazelnuts and pistachios, and is topped off with notes of cinnamon, ginger and coriander. The bar tastes like fresh-baked, real food. Let’s just say that normal Clif bars taste good, but this one is on another level!

I also gave a bar to my friend Corey. Corey is a guy I play hockey with, so I wouldn’t classify him as an endurance athlete, but he knows more about Clif bars than most people I know! He gave the bar a “not bad” overall, citing an overpowering ginger taste as the likely problem area.

So here you have two people with differing opinions – Corey probably wouldn’t eat another one, while I would eat one every single day! But we both agreed it was a very interesting, unique treat.

On top of that, I noticed the inside of the wrapper was completely dry – no stickyness whatsoever. I even wiped my fingers on it to be sure. So this bar would be a “no mess” food to have in your jersey pocket.

Furthermore, the bar felt lighter in my stomach than usual. Other Clif Bars are like a rock in my stomach compared to this one! I don’t know how this works, since the main ingredients are the same, but it just seems extra light and easy to digest.

My final verdict is…

Clif Bar has outdone themselves this time! I don’t know if it’s enough to create a panforte craze here in the US, but the bar is awesome.

I actually recommend that you DO NOT buy one, because you’ll just be heartbroken when this limited edition bar is gone!

Official website: www.ClifBar.com

Product Review Details
Company: Clif Bar
Product: Gary’s Panforte Bar
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 5.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2012-08-27
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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  1. Thanks for your review, and I agree with you completely that this is on another level! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these! I’m totally addicted to them, and wondering how many I should stockpile before they stop making them. Before this flavor, I just kinda liked Clif Bars, but this flavor has won me over! I love the large pieces of whole fruits and nuts, and I wish more Clif Bars were like this. Like you, it reminds me of fruitcake, but spicier, and I love fruitcake. The only downside is they taste so good, I’m eating 2 or 3 a day in addition to my regular meals, and the calories are adding up. What a difference…with other Clif Bar flavors I will only eat them when very hungry and even then don’t like them enough to finish a whole bar. These I would eat all day long even when not hungry if I could do it and not gain weight! Thanks Clif Bar!

  2. @Lynne

    Totally agree! I’d love to get a giant block of Panforte from the Clif kitchen, fresh out of the oven.

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