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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Setton Farms Pistachio Berry Blend > Test Report by Brett Haydin

Setton Farms Pistachio Berry Blend

Initial Report - September 9, 2016
Long Term Report - January 16, 2017

TESTER INFORMATION

TesterNAME:            Brett Haydin
EMAIL:            bhaydin AT hotmail DOT com
AGE:                43The
LOCATION:     Madison, Wisconsin, USA
GENDER:         M
HEIGHT:          5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT:         200 lb (90.70 kg)


I started backpacking in Wisconsin as a youth, being involved in the Boy Scouts programs. As a young adult, I worked at a summer camp leading backpacking, canoing and mountain biking trips. I now generally take short weekend or day trips. I plan several longer trips each year in different parts of the US, where I typically carry about 40 lb (18 kg). I prefer to be prepared and comfortable, but I have taken lightweight trips as well.

Initial Report

Product Information & Specifications

Berry Blend
Photo: From Setton Farm's website
Manufacturer: Setton International Foods, Inc.
Year of Manufacture:  2016
Manufacturer's Website: www.settonfarms.com
MSRP: $4.99 US
Listed Weight: net weight 5 oz (142 g)
Measured Weight: 5.4 oz (153 g) including packaging
Serving size: 1 oz (28 g)
Servings per container: 5
Calories per serving: 140

Includes

  • California Pistachios
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Roasted Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Creamy White Chips

Product Description

The Setton Farms Pistachio Berry Blend snack comes in a sealable package. It is a dried-fruit and nut snack mix that I plan to take along with me on my backpacking trips instead of the usual trail mix. While the package comes with five 1 oz (28 g) servings, the servings aren't separated.

Setton Farms is a family-owned business that specializes in pistachios. The website has wealth of information on the history of the company and the many other products they have.

Initial Impressions

At first glance, this is almost like any other trail mix I buy. It has a tear strip to open it but is resealable. What sets this apart from my usual fair is that it contains pistachios - and I LOVE pistachios! Mix that with cranberries and cherries, and I am one happy camper. I was curious to know what the "white chips" were, so I opened up a bag to see the snack mix up close. I was greeted with a waft of deliciousness. It took every ounce of effort not to eat a bag right there! The answer to my question was soon realized: white "chocolate" chips of course!

The Pistachio Berry Blend has five servings in each package. There is no way that I would be able to resist eating a whole bag, so I will separate each serving into their own baggies before I head out. Each serving contains 140 calories, which is a good number for me. I tend to under eat on the trail - too focused on the wilderness to bother with hunger, I suppose. Hopefully by portioning them out, I will be able to make them last longer than one trip.

Looking over the other nutrition facts, I don't see anything alarming. 7 g of fat (3 g saturated and 0 g trans), 2 g or protein and 45 mg of sodium. It does contain 18 g of carbohydrates (1g dietary fiber and 3 g sugars). It also contains tree nuts, soy and milk. The ingredients are mostly straight-forward. It does contain artificial colors and flavors, but no FD&C colors are listed (yay!). I suspect (and hope) that the artificial colors and flavors are in the white chocolate chips, but there is no real way to know. Regardless, I usually shy away from food that contains these.

Long Term Report

Field Conditions

Break Time
Taking a break in Joshua Tree National Park
I really had to be selective on the trips I took since the snacks could have easily been eaten in one trip alone. As it was, I was able to portion them out for four separate trips. My first trip was an overnight along a section of the Ice Age Trail backpacking 23 mi (37 km) in Chippewa County, Wisconsin. The terrain was fairly hilly with elevation gain on some hills over 300 ft (90 m). That isn't a lot compared to the mountains, but western Wisconsin is not flat! Temperatures were a little more moderate between 58 and 72 F (14 and 22 C). It rained most of the afternoon and into the evening on my first day. I brought along two servings of the trail mix on this trip in individual, sealable plastic sandwich bags.

My next trip was a 9.2 mi (14.8 km) loop in the Mendocino National Forest in Northern California. The temperatures were between 60 and 80 F (16 and 27 C) with no precipitation. The terrain was rocky, mountainous and breathtaking! I took along three servings of the trail mix.

My third trip was an overnight trip in Southern Wisconsin in the Kettle Moraine State Forest along the Ice Age Tail to Whitewater Lake. We had some unseasonably warm weather so I took advantage of the break in the cold to take the 8.9 mi (14.3 km) hike and soak in the views. The temperatures were between 45 and 65 F (7 and 18 C) with no precipitation. The trail was hilly and dirt-packed. I brought two servings for this trip.


My last trip was an overnight in the Joshua Tree National Park in California. I hiked 8 mi (13 km) along the Boy Scout Trail which was a rocky, dirt-packed desert hike among the iconic trees. There was a moderate amount of elevation gain - 1,000 ft (300 m) - since I did just a shuttle hike. Typical of Southern California, I saw no rain with temperatures between 60-70 F (16-21 C) and an overnight low at about 40 F (4 C). I took the remaining three servings on this trip.

Observations

Let me start just by saying this is really yummy trail mix! The mix of nuts, chocolate and berries is just the right amount for a burst of flavor in every bite. While a lot of my trail mix seems to end up heavy handed with one ingredient or another as items shift in my pack, the Setton Farms mix maintained its consistency. And by portioning it out, I was able to control the urge to eat it all in one or two sittings. I admittedly do not stop as frequently as I should on the trail to re-energize, but I really looked forward to taking a break so I could eat more of these.

After eating the mix, I was certainly satisfied. Within a few minutes, hunger satiated, I was ready to carry on for my trips. If anything, I would have liked more per serving. In fact, when I buy this in the future I will probably eat about two servings at a time. Backpacking burns a lot of calories, right?! For me I would say one bag per day would be adequate. But for a small serving, it clearly packs plenty of calories making it ideal for the trail.

At the Joshua tree, I think I left the mix a little too close to the outside of my pack. On my second stop of the first day, some of the chocolate was a little mushy, which led to a finger-lickin', delicious snack. It was not as bad as some chocolate-laden mixes I have had, but it did melt just a bit. That was the only problem I had with packaging. The zip-top closure never failed and was easy enough to seal after taking some out. The size of the packaging is also great, so I won't need to repackage in the future.

Summary

Setton Farms Pistachio Berry Blend mix has made a permanent spot in my rotation of snacks for backpacking.

Pros
: Great taste,
Cons: Contains artificial colors and flavors, a little on the pricey side compared to other snacks I purchase.

This concludes this test series. I would like to thank Setton International Foods, Inc and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to be a part of this test series.





Read more reviews of Setton Farms gear
Read more gear reviews by Brett Haydin

Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Setton Farms Pistachio Berry Blend > Test Report by Brett Haydin



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