In the Malvern’s Wegman’s recently, I picked up a bag of “Bethlehem Inn Honey Pecan” granola on sale for about $4. I had no expectations, but it was a semi-local producer (located in Bethlehem, PA) and seemed like a small company worth supporting, and I do like Granola, so I figured it was worth a shot. Boy was I surprised — I absolutely love this stuff!
It is only made from seven ingredients (Rolled Oats, Wheat Bran, Butter, Honey, Pecans, Spices, Salt), but it has more depth and complexity of flavor than any other Granola I’ve ever tasted. (Hence the motto “less is more”). It starts out sweet (but not too sweet – 6g sugar per serving), then hits you with a roasted, salty pecan flavor (a perfect foil to the sweetness), then a bit of spice (that I can’t exactly place – perhaps a secret ingredient), then finishes out with just a touch more sweetness. It is quite phenomenal. It’s hard to say for sure, but I think it is the salt that differentiates this granola from others — it isn’t a flavor you’d expect, but much like Eclat’s sea salt chocolate truffle, just a small amount packs a huge amount of flavor and lingers throughout each bite.
Now floored by its flavor, I was inspired to do some research about this wonderful granola. Turns out it was created for a Bed & Breakfast in Bethlehem, PA that opened in 1988. It was so popular at the B&B, guests regularly encouraged owners Suzanne Virgilio and her husband to sell it on the outside. In 2006, they moved across the street and started “The Granola Factory“. Today, it’s a full service bakery with a retail store and custom orders available in the Lehigh Valley. In addition, they recently started selling their granola online.
It’s available at most local Wegmans stores, including Malvern, Downingtown and Collegeville, as well as a number of stores in the Allentown area.
Photo Credit: http://granolafactory.com