You’re in class, staring blankly at the professor as he drones on about “retroactive interference” — or maybe it was “proactive.” You can’t remember. You were too busy wondering why you decided to torture yourself by scheduling a psychology class during lunch time. 

In theory, it doesn’t seem so bad. 1:30 is a perfectly normal time to each lunch. But in reality, it’s 12:45, and you are hungry.

12:48 – You’ve figured out it’s been exactly 252 minutes since you scarfed down the half of a Pop Tart and large coffee you called breakfast.

12:51 – You’re wondering whether the Jurassic Park people would pay you to use the sound of your stomach growling as audio for their next movie.

12:54 – The guy next to you gives you weird looks, as he can apparently hear the T-rex baby in your stomach.

12:58 – You remember throwing a Zydeco Bar in your backpack this morning.

12:59 – You praise the nutrition bar gods as your hand touches the wrapper — crisis averted.

It’s the ultimate find. No — The Holy Grail. As far as college students are concerned, this low-cost, great tasting snack is perfect to hold over the hunger that strikes in the middle of class, during an all-night cram session, or in the middle of your latest Netflix marathon.

Generally speaking, whenever The Struggle is — quote, un-quote — real.

Look no further. We found it: ZYDECO BARS.

Michelle Vallot, founder of Zydeco Foods LLC, was inspired to create her own version of the standard snack bar during her long, hunger-filled commute from Lafayette to Baton Rouge for law school. A few years later, Vallot took on the task of making her own nutrition bar a reality in her spare time while lawyering.

Focused on good taste, nutrition and convenience, Vallot was determined to formulate a bar recipe that would bring her as much delight as the fig cookies she made for holiday gifts.

She was inspired by Louisiana’s food culture. In cooperation with the ULL Department of Allied Health (formerly School of Human Resources [Dietetics]), Vallot found an ingredient linked to Louisiana’s local agricultural that would distinguish Zydeco Bars from the herd of health bars on the market with an iconic twist.

Sweet potatoes.

Made from this Louisiana classic, along with wholesome ingredients like rolled oats, roasted pecans, and molasses, Zydeco Bars come in two deliciously satisfying varieties: Pecan Brownie (finally, a rich dark chocolate brownie with crunchy pecans that’s good for you) and Fruit & Pecan (a delicious snack bar staple).

Zydeco Bars are free of chemical preservatives, refined sugars, and high fructose corn syrup. They’re packed with fiber and slow burning carbs that will carry you through your morning, afternoon, or rigorous exercise routine.

In 2013, Vallot expanded her product offerings to include a line of Louisiana Style Salsas, as part of her effort to stay competitive and diverse in a very crowded snack foods industry. Vallot comments that “The unique Louisiana Style Salsas that we have rolled out is differentiated from the rest because our product is Gluten Free, Vinegar Free, and free of chemical preservatives — and we are all about Louisiana tradition and food culture with a Sweet Potato Salsa, a Red Bean Salsa, and a Creole Trinity Salsa.” She says there is one for everybody’s taste.

Zydeco Bars range from $1.25 to $1.75 and are available at the following locations: Highland Coffees and Co-op Books in Baton Rouge, all locations of Rouse’s supermarkets, most Associated Groceries affiliates in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette and surrounding areas, various locations of the Texas Supermarket Chain HEB, and a variety of specialty stores and health clubs in the northeastern parts of the country. The Zydeco salsa line is also available at the retail locations listed above, or online.