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Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites > Test Report by joe schaffer

Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites
Initial Report
by Joe Schaffer

November 14, 2015

NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
AGE: 67
HEIGHT: 5'9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.4 kg)
HOME:  Hayward, California USA

   I frequent California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year; often solo. Summer trips last typically a week to 10 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day. I winter camp most often at 6,000' to 7,000' (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); 1 to 4 miles (1.5 to 6.5 km) on snowshoes.

The Product:
        Manufacturer: Setton International Foods, Inc
        Web site:
        Product: a) Dark Chocolate Pistachiospkgs
                      b) Pistachio Chewy Bites
        Received: 11/13/15

MSRP: a) $5.99 Dark Chocolate Pistachios
              b) $1.99 2-bite Pistachio Chewy Bites

My measures:
    a) 1 package of Dark Chocolate Pistachios
    gross wt: 5 1/4 oz (150 g)
    package length:  6 3/8 in  (16.2 cm)
    package width: 5 5/8 in (14.5 cm)
    package depth: about 1 1/4 in (3 cm)
    product: about 1/2 in (1.2 cm) round, slightly oblong
    b) 2-bite package of Pistachio Chewy Bites
    gross wt, 2-cake package: 1 1/2 oz (41 g)
    package length: 7 3/4 in (19.5 cm)
    package width: 2 in (5 cm)
    package depth: 3/4 in (1.5 cm)
    product:   1 7/8 x 1 3/8 x 1/2 in (4.8 x 3.5 x 1.3 cm)

Factory Measures:
    a) 1 package of Dark Chocolate Pistachios
    net wt: 5 oz (142 g)

    b) 2-bite package of Pistachio Chewy Bites
    net wt: 1.42 oz (40 g)
          chocolate nuts
    a) Dark Chocolate Pistachios
    This product is chocolate covered whole pistachios. The white, brown and tan package tears open, and offers the well-disciplined snacker an opportunity to reseal via zip-type closure. The package material is thick enough to avoid coming apart or being punctured in my typical food transport arrangement.

    b) Pistachio Chewy Bitesbite
    This product is a 2-3 bite "bite" of whole (and nearly so) pistachios, dried cranberries and agave nectar. According to the package the bite is over 50% pistachios and that to me seems conservative. The two bites are seal-wrapped individually in clear cellophane and then end-to-end in a green and white plastic wrapper package. The package sports a small, clear window on the back to reveal what the product looks like. The texture is chewy, with mostly-whole nuts bound together with bits of dried cranberry, presumably by the agave nectar.

     Until now I was content to believe the best chocolate/nut combination was almonds and chocolate, but now I have to adjust that set of mind. These products have a richer, more complex flavor. I would eat these products even if they weren't good for me. The silky dark chocolate suits my not-sweet tooth perfectly in combination with the crunch of the whole nut; and in the bite the cranberry blends a tart contrast to the sweetness of the nut and agave, in a balance that my taste buds are now craving.

   These products are supremely well suited to my menu of backpacking food choice. They are calorie dense--lots of food value for the weight and space. They are very high in fat, so the sate button gets pushed without having to eat a lot or wait a long time. They are really low in (or devoid of) salt. They have no cholesterol or trans fat. Sugar is very low. These products have such healthy stats I'd eat them even if they didn't taste good.

    The packaging accommodates eating less than the whole package; either by resealing the Dark Chocolate package or by eating only one of the two Chewy Bites. I often don't want an entire food bar, for example, but most of the ones I've previously tried, especially with chocolate, can get pretty messy in an opened package.

Long Term Report

March 12, 2016

Field Conditions:
    Nov 26/27: Castle Rock State Park, CA. 2,960-2,440 ft (900-745 m) 3 mi (5 k) 1 hour hike each way. Temps 60's F (18 C) day, 50's F (10 C) evening.
    Dec 30/Jan 1: Gooseberry Ck, 6,560-7,100 ft (2,000-2,165 m) Eldorado National Forest, CA. 1 1/2 mi (2 k) car-to-camp sled pull; 5 mi (8 km) total. Temps 40's F (4 C) day, mid-teens F (-9 C) evening.
    Jan 22/25: Loon Lake, 6,400 ft (1,950 m) Eldorado NF, CA. 1 mi (2 k) flat sled pull car-to-camp; 6 mi (10 k) total shoeing. Temps 40's F (4 C) day, 30's F (2 C) evening.
    Feb 24/26: Pt. Reyes National Seashore, CA. 0-1,000 ft (0- 305 m) 20 mi (32 k) backpacking. Temps 60's F (18 C) day, 40's F (4 C) evening.

    Maybe if someone put a bloody chunk of sizzling meat and a tall glass of porter in front of me, I'd go there first. Otherwise, I can't think of anything that would tempt me away from these products. I love chocolate, nuts and fruit.

    Either product provides a quick hit of fairly sustained go-power. I especially needed that on one of my Gooseberry sled pulls; and on a 4-hour roller-coastal hike from Wildcat Beach to Coast Camp. The nutritional density of the product puts gas in the tank without too much bulk in the tummy. A short break, a few swallows, and I'm ready to hit a coronary-inducing stride, already being in food heaven.

    I repackaged the Dark Chocolate Pistachios to 8-10 in snack bags in the event I couldn't control myself, and that worked really well. On a 2-3 day backpack I don't need the whole bag anyway. The Chewy Bites come packaged pretty small and I do consume the totality of a single wrap. I am able to refrain from tearing open the second, so I get the right amount of food with none left in an open package. On the 3-day coastal trip I did away with the outer Chewy Bites wrap.

    None of my trips was hot enough to test the melt point of either product. One of the snow trips got chilly, yet I was still able to masticate the chewy bite without fear of dental bills. I didn't have to gnaw off a corner and leave it in my mouth to warm up before I could enjoy it.

    My only grievance with the product is availability. None of the brick and mortars I've gone into have had it.

Quick shots:
    a) great taste
    b) dense nutrition
    c) healthful
    d) not readily available

Thank you Setton Farms and for the opportunity to test this product. 

Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer

Reviews > Food > Energy Bars and Drinks > Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites > Test Report by joe schaffer

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