In the last year or so I have been experimenting with freeze dried food. You don’t see it too often in Ireland, but gear shops in Sweden and the US tend to stock plenty of it. It’s a dining option for people spending time in the outdoors, and certainly in the US it is also marketed as an emergency preparedness thing.
As I might occasionally need to use this stuff in anger in the hills or forests. And because it makers a change from eating in restaurants. And as gear shopping is fun, I have been buying and sampling various freeze dried and semi-dried meal-in-a-bag offerings to see what is good and bad. I posted most of the results on Facebook before now. But I will move them all to this site this week.
As I was in REI on Sunday I picked up 2 dinners from the very good Mary Jane’s Outpost range. And I spotted a new vendor – Good To Go which I had not seen before. I grabbed the “Smoked Three Bean Chili” and the “Thai Curry”. This evening as I didn’t fancy going out, I used the hotel room coffee maker to boil water and I sat down to try the Thai Curry.
The first thing I found was that this stuff needs an awful lot of water. The pouch was big, and held about 189g of “food”. That’s more than the two Mary Jane’s which were 122g and 158g each. the instructions were to open the included sachet of coconut milk powder, then add 600ml of boiling water and let sit for a rather lengthy 20 minutes. Most others I have eaten are 5-10 minutes. There were no volume markings inside the pouch so you have to bring your measuring cup to know how much water to add.
I was a bit nervous at first that there was too much water, but when I reopened the pouch after the wait it all looked fine. And boy was there a lot in the finished pouch. I have never felt like I have eaten as much from a freeze dried meal. It just went on, and on. And even better it was very very tasty.
The rice had rehydrated well so the grains were not crunchy. There were thumb sized chunks of broccoli to provide texture and something to chew on. The best thing was the flavours and smell. It tasted like a curry, and had a lovely aroma of coconut and spices. Texture and consistency was good throughout – there were no lumps of dry powder. This was one of the best free dried meals I have ever had. I was looking forward to each bite, and it certainly didn’t taste like backpacking food.
Each pouch cost $11.50 which is a little pricey. But as well as excellent taste and quality, you do get 760kcal of food, which is about 25% more than most of the competition. It was guten free and suitable for pescatarian’s whatever they are. The stats are:
- Price: US$11.50 (before tax)
- Weight: 189g
- Calories: 760kcal
- kCal/100g: 402
- Fat: 28g
- Approx shelf life: 18 months
Good-To-Go are relatively new as a company, so their range just has 4 offerings right now: Bean Chili, Green Curry, Classic Marinara with Penne, and Herbed Mushroom Risotto. The Curry gets 5/5. And I will be going back to REI on my way to the airport to pick up a few more!