Aug. 25th, 2010

tegyrius: (catfood)
Periodically, [ profile] elalyr and I will dine on some of our freeze-dried foodstuffs, both to rotate the supply and to see if the stuff's actually edible. Our usual fare is Mountain House, but last weekend's Atlanta trip included a stop at an REI store, where we picked up some Backpacker's Pantry products.

Tonight's entree was the shepherd's pie with beef entree. Price was $9.50, a bit higher than the average $7.50-ish price of Mountain House foodstuffs. Prep procedure was the same: tear open bag, add boiling water, stir, re-seal bag, wait a few minutes. In the field or during a power outage, we'd heat the water with our Jetboil stove; not being in such circumstances, we just used the electric teapot.

Portion size was, for us, generous; larger appetites might find it inadequate. The bag claimed to produce two 13-ounce servings. While we didn't measure, they nicely filled two of our usual soup/cereal bowls with a bit left over.

Texture was appealing - the mashed potato base was creamy and the corn and beef were appropriately moist and chewy. Taste was acceptable without being spectacular, a bit heavy on the pepper with a slight bitterness I associate with cooking wine. Not off-putting, just unexpected. I suspect that would be more appealing if I were more heavily fatigued. I couldn't detect any of the advertised cheese flavor, so we put some grated cheddar on top - technically cheating, but it was a definite boost.

Verdict: 3.5 of 5 titanium sporks. It was sufficiently tasty that I'd eat it again, even outside an emergency. However, I don't think it's worth the $1-3 premium over Mountain House entrees unless you're seeking variety. I may see if I can catch some other Backpacker's Pantry products on sale. Also, Backpacker's Pantry's advertised shelf life was considerably shorter than Mountain House's usual decade-plus, so I wouldn't switch to their stuff for primary long-term storage.


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