Disclosure: I was sent some of these Panforte Clif Bars to try out.
OK, they are meant to be inspired by Italian 'Panforte', which is a traditional Italian
dessert containing fruits and nuts, and resembling fruitcake (a bit). The name and concept may date back to 13th century Siena, in Italy's Tuscany region. The word panforte means 'strong bread' which refers to the spicy flavour.
According to the Clif Bar company, the ingredients include: Organic Brown Rice Syrup,
Organic Rice Crisps (Organic White Rice Flour, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Barley Malt Extract, Salt), Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Date Paste, Organic Figs (Organic Figs, Organic Oat Flour), Organic Almonds, Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Organic Pears, Organic Zante Currant Raisins, Crystallized Ginger (Ginger, Dried Cane Syrup), Walnuts, Dried Citrus Peel Blend (Lemon Peel, Orange Peel, Cane Syrup, Cane Sugar, Citric Acid), Organic Almond Butter, Organic Cocoa, Spices (Organic Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Coriander, White Pepper), Sea Salt, Natural Vitamin E (Antioxidant).
The list of ingredients is huge! But what is interesting is that most of them - nearly all of them in fact, are actual foodstuffs, rather than the emulsifiers, colorants, preservatives etc etc etc which you find in so many commercially-made items these days. One thing you won't see a lot of in this list is sugar, and indeed the bar is not sweet. It's not sour of course, it's just different - more dried fruit and nut maybe. I've seen suggestions that it tastes like fruitcake, but I can't agree. For a start, there's no wheat flour in there. Rather solid spicy dried fruit is the best description.
I thought they tasted 'OK'; my wife thought they tasted very nice. She isn't keen on sweet things. They are moderately soft, not hard and crunchy. The colour is not all that inspiring, but that's due to the dried fruit content. One gets used to that.
But while they seem good, I am told by the company they will only be on the market for a few months (to late 2012). This seems really wierd to me. If they are good enough to take to the market (and I think they are), why stop production just when word-of-mouth might be getting going? Strange. Try some, and if you like them you might want to stock up.