But I misled you with that intro. Because I will not beguile you with wonderful pictures and tales of Italian food. That will come... as the weather worsens and my desire to ride decreases, I have this sinking feeling I will post about Italian lunches, but that is still a few months away... hopefully!
Today I will discuss on-bike food. Clif bars, to be exact. You see, I have just discovered these little bundles of joy during my time in the US this summer. I had, as many roadies, a very traditional approach to these things. Riding food consisted of some combination of the following:
- honey or nutella micro-sandwiches wrapped in tinfoil;
- apple slices wrapped in tinfoil;
- micro prosciutto sandwiches with a touch of olive wrapped in... yes, you guessed it;
- pre-packaged apple sauce (a French brand, no, actually it is yummy); and/or
- stops at bars for a pastry and coffee.
But then a terrifying problem rears its ugly head when you plan your riding in rural South Carolina. They do not have Italian espresso bars on every street corner. As a matter of fact, they do not have them anywhere. This is the closest thing I came across. I am not sure what the opening hours were, though:
So what is an increasingly hungry Italian cyclist going to do to stave off hunger... especially before his 45 million calorie lunch that is waiting for him when he returns from his ride?
Consumerism to the rescue! For 99 cents you too can purchase a Clif bar, which comes in about 300 different distinct flavors, from your local Trader Joe's (I like to show off and drop American store names, just to show how hip I am regarding the Americana shopping experience). These are in environmentally friendly wrappers that ensure that even in 40 centigrade heat in your sweaty jersey pocket for several hours there will be no effect on the contents.
When you open the package, the actual contents look like something that your dog might leave on the footpath during your (his? her?) daily walk. The consistency is a wee bit chewy. And you do need some water to get them to go down well.
Having said that, they are really, really yummy. As in, I wish I had brought a second one on the ride. The regular Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch (the only two flavors I tried) were both absolutely great. And I had no trouble eating them while riding...
Now if I could only find them in good old Italia. Carrying 1~2 on long rides is definitely an option.
Highly recommended. 4 out of 5 stars on the Happy Powerful Pete rating scale. Minus one star for the way they look when you pull 'em out of the package. So, if you get a chance, try 'em.
I am curious. Let me know if you like them, and what other fake cycling food you enjoy partaking while riding. And, for the American readers of this blog, I am curious about Clif Shot Bloks. So be nice and send me a few to sample. Mille grazie!
In the meantime, I will go back to my caffè e cornetto until I can locate a decently priced supplier here in the Old World.