Canadian Park Hound

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Food Review: Backcountry Pantry Shepard’s Pie

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Food, the amount and weight of, has been a constant source of meditation for me when I decide to tackle the trail. Even though I envision my backcountry trips to be full of awe and wonderment during the planning stages, in reality, the food that you bring has a pretty big impact on the experience. I’ve broken my back carrying too much food, and sat in the backwoods, looking at a ridiculous assortment of spices and grains for too long not to consider what prepared backwoods meals that might be available out there. Join me as I buy and taste what offerings I find during my search…

Backcountry Pantry: Shepard’s Pie

Packaging:

Aluminum, “prepare in bag”.

Backcountry Pantry Shepard’s Pie

Preparation:

Add boiling water while stirring food. Seal bag and let sit for 13 minutes.

Backcountry Pantry Shepard’s Pie, inside package view.

Taste:

Salty with a tang that hit the sides of the tongue throughout. A bit of a potato soup by our standards, if following the recipe for exact water measurements. The first few bites after a long day in the middle of nowhere may be rewarding, but finishing it may be a chore. Lots of powdered spices that aren’t well balanced  beyond, “salty”.

Full disclosure: I can’t find any love for instant potatoes. This product didn’t bring me around.

Portion:

Two people.

Ratings:

Backwoods: Thumbs down. Too expensive for food that can easily be prepared at home for less $$.

RV/ car camping: Skip it.

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Written by canadianparkhound

December 26, 2012 at 11:58 am

Posted in 2012, Food Reviews

Food Review: Harvest Foodworks Spaghettini Italiano

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Food, the amount and weight of, has been a constant source of meditation for me when I decide to tackle the trail. Even though I envision my backcountry trips to be full of awe and wonderment during the planning stages, in reality, the food that you bring has a pretty big impact on the experience. I’ve broken my back carrying too much food, and sat in the backwoods, looking at a ridiculous assortment of spices and grains for too long not to consider what prepared backwoods meals that might be available out there. Join me as I buy and taste what offerings I find during my search…

Harvest FoodworksSpaghettini Italiano

Packaging:

At first glance, this product looks like it can be prepared in the bag (perhaps due to the convenient volume measurements printed on the outer bag), but this is not a “prepare in bag” recipe. Inside, you’ll find three additional packages (plastic, mylar, foil/paper). These are wrapped in a sheet of plain 8×11″ paper containing the description, nutritional facts, ingredients and cooking instructions.

Image

Preparation:

Stir the pasta and veg into a pot of boiling water and reduce to medium for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and and the sauce and spice packages (to taste). Return to heat for 3 minutes or until thickened.

Spice package, Harvest Foodworks Spaghettini Italiano

Taste:

Salty. During preparation, it wasn’t the most appealing smell. It smelled heavily of soup base, reminiscent of Lipton Cup-A-Soup or the soup base found at The Bulk Barn. However, on first taste, it was not as disappointing as the initial smell. The texture of the pasta was al dente and the soy-based “ground beef” was acceptable*. It was quite saucy and the fact that it is a powder-based tomato sauce wasn’t so appealing. It was tangy as opposed to dynamic. There were strong overtones of soup base-type flavours throughout the tomato sauce.

Portion:

Two people.

Price:

$8.95 CAN

Ratings:

Backwoods: One thumb (out of two). If you can’t prepare a meal in time, this will suffice and the portion is definitely for two people (or one really hungry camper). You’ll probably be grateful for the first few mouthfuls and spend the rest of the time wondering why you’re paying pub-style prices for less than pub-style pasta. All the same, if you didn’t have time to prepare your own, Harvest Foodworks Spaghettini will more than likely warm your belly when you need it most.

RV/ car camping: Skip it.

(according to this person’s taste)

Written by canadianparkhound

September 28, 2012 at 9:22 pm