A couple of weeks ago, we got our first taste of Shandaken Bake, a Catskills-area baking company that recently began selling its wares at the New Amsterdam Market. Having already written about the abundant virtues of its maple-parsnip bread, we’re today turning our attention to those of its trail bar.
When the words “trail” and “bar” are placed alongside one another, their proximity often yields a product whose taste and texture is more reminiscent of an actual hiking path than anything that could loosely be termed a “treat.”
But that isn’t the case here: While Shandaken’s proprietor Craig Thompson showers his bar with nuts (pistachios, pecans, and walnuts), seeds (pumpkin and sunflower), and shredded unsweetened coconut, he wisely builds its foundation out of caramel shortbread. The result is outdoorsy wholesomeness luxuriating on a bed of butter and sugar, a paradox that is as delicious as it is texturally gratifying. The bar is all crunch, crumble, and chew, and its flavor the holy trinity of sweet, salty, and nutty.
Its relatively diminutive size places the $2 bar on the skinny-jeans end of the Fat Pants spectrum. While it won’t really fill you up, unless you’ve already eaten, it will provide plenty of energy for scaling the city’s vast canyons.
Shandaken Bake will have a table at the New Amsterdam Market through the end of the season, on December 19.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 3, 2010