The market for freeze-dried food for the hungry adventurer is currently overflowed with different, good alternatives. These products are commonly characterized by low weight, long shelf life, high nutritional value and easy preparation.
When you choose among the many different dishes, properties such as calories contra weight and nutritional content has to be considered to ensure that your daily energy needs are met. Other factors that come into play is cooking time, and if the declared time is consistent with the perceived time it takes to prepare the meal.
Nevertheless, I consider taste the most important factor when choosing a freeze-dried meal, as the dinner is one of the day’s highlights when hiking, climbing or doing other sorts of outdoor activities.
We have tested a product from the Swedish expedition meal producer Blå Band. They distinguish themselves from their many competitors with their innovative, low and rectangular packaging. This makes it much easier to scrape the last remnants out of the bottom of the bag, while preventing grease on the spoons handle and your own hand. This solution works very well, and one can wonder why nobody has thought about this before?
If you’d like to try this product, search for the tortuous product name: 24 Hour Meals Blå Band Expedition meals
The product we tested is a simple Pasta Carbonara dish, with cheese sauce, macaroni’s and small bacon pieces. It has a fine texture and a good spicy taste of pepper. It is a very simple dish, and could have used a few additional bacon pieces (you can never get enough bacon), but it has a delicious and natural flavor, and I actually don’t think I would get sick of the taste even though I only brought this meal for a 14 day hike. The inside of the bag has a level labeling for water quantity, and it has a good, secure closure at the top.
The dish had to sit for 15 minutes before the small macaroni’s where sufficiently cooked (It says 10 minutes on the package).
The bag was extremely hot during the preparation time, and I feared that this was a sign of excessive heat loss. Luckily, the food was more than hot enough when I opened the bag. Finally, the calorie content is high compared to the weight and the bag does not take up much space in the backpack.
Originally tested and written by Eivind Hegnar for GrejGuide.dk