real men, it is said, don't cry. nor do they wear their underpants on the outside of their trousers. and real men eat crunchy peanut butter; only softies spread the smooth variety on their bagels. trust me, i know of which i speak.
the guy with whom i shared a room when in digs at art college, took a summer job in holland between first year and second year, working in a large factory that packed all manner of pickles as well as penaut butter. when we returned to the same accommodation for our second year of drawing pictures (or sculpting clay as was his wont), he brought with him a couple of large jars of the peanut butter he had been responsible for filling. quite how i had managed to reach my very late teens without ever having tasted peanut butter, i will probably never know. and though i approached with trepidation my first slice of brown bread spread with the smooth version, in point of fact, it was rather tasty.
and my introductory paragraph may well have taken on an altogether different hue had it not been for the fact that the local averagemarket stocked only the crunchy version. therefore, when the dutch variant was finished, those peanut butter sandwiches took on a more tactile texture. and it has remained so ever since, though there was a recent episode where the local store's peanut butter shelf bore only the smooth version of the sugar-free organic stuff. that wasn't a good week.
the relatively recent notion that we cyclists would benefit from a healthy dose of protein mixed with carbohydrate makes peanut butter a prime candidate for on-the-bike munching. it also chucks in a beneficial helping of potassium and other minerals, good fats, fibre, energy and a frosting of essential vitamins. however, if i recall the size of those peanut butter jars hauled all the way from amsterdam, there's not a chance one of them would have fitted in a jersey back pocket. and from bitter experience, stuffing a brown bread peanut butter sandwich in a pocket will almost always end in tears, cling wrap or no cling wrap.
which is why crunchy peanut butter clif bars are the new black. unlike many an energy bar designed for velocipedinal consumption, these are a doddle to open and very teeth friendly when crunching. add to that a very moderately sweet taste, and it's a wonder it's taken me this long to find these benefits. each 68g bar not only makes the ideal accompaniment to a large cup of froth at debbie's, it provides over 250 calories for both recovery purposes and getting home after a sunday ride into the wind. and more importantly, it tastes pretty darned good. and unless that last box is ticked, all the fibre, energy and vitamins are simply numbers on the back of the packet.
aside from the delectable crunchy peanute butter flavour (real men, etc., etc.), clif bars can also be purchased in choc chip, oatmeal raisin walnut, blueberry crisp, chocolate almond fudge and white chocolate macadamia. gastronomic luxury, wouldn't you agree?
i have now refrained from creating an almighty agglomeration of a peanut butter and cling film mess in one of those back pockets. and honestly, though i'd be stretching credibility just a smidgeon too far in stating the clif bars made me quicker, they sure as heck strengthened my resolve in the face of climatic adversity.
but i still refuse to wear my underpants on the outside.
thanks to the generosity of extra uk, distributors of clif bars throughout britain, you too can have the chance to become a real man (or woman). in order to win a box of twelve crunchy peanut butter clif bars, simply tell me why they are called clif bars. answer, along with name and a complete postal address to email@example.com. closing date is friday 21 november.
a box of 12 bars costs around £17.99 | clif bars
friday 14 november 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................