OK, so the title’s a bit misleading; this isn’t really about what you’d call gourmet food – we actually had several different travel meals to try out as we’re looking to expand our range of foods. Currently we stock Expedition Foods and Mountain House meals, both of which are freeze dried meals in the £5 – £8 range and available in big portions as well as singles.
These are new for facewest.co.uk and are now in stock. We tried the Pasta Bolognese meal. The first thing you notice about these meals is the price – they are noticeably more expensive from their Mountain House and Expedition Foods like for like products. They are, however, also noticeably tastier and have a better texture. Have a look at the photo below of the food before it has been rehydrated, the Turmat Real Meal is on the left and an Extreme Foods meal is on the right (we don’t stock Extreme Foods, but we did have some to try out and judged that they were similar to the Mountain House and Expedition Foods offerings). For a freeze dried meal the Turmat Real Meals are an excellent option if you’ve got the budget.
New to facewest.co.uk! These are a different take on travel meals from the freeze dried options I talked about above - these are wet food pouches and, although this description makes them sound like pet food, they’re pretty tasty and a good alternative to freeze dried meals if you’re not too bothered about a bit of extra weight. They are even easier to prepare than the freeze dried meals – you just have to warm them up still in the packet, we did this using a pan filled with water on Stu’s Primus Lite Plus stove. In a pinch you can even eat them cold as they are already prepared and edible, though I doubt this would be a very satisfactory meal. We tried Vegetarian Meatballs (whatever they are) and Chilli con Carne. Both had a good flavour and texture, though the Chilli con Carne did taste a bit burnt - hopefully this was just a batch which got a bit over done and not a permanent flavour for this meal. These are a great option if you’re not fussed about a little extra weight and want a super quick and easy meal which tastes good.
We’re not going to be stocking these at the moment as they are very similar to the freeze dried meals we already have – we also ended up with them being pretty watery as there are 3 lines to fill the water to on the inside of the pack but it doesn’t mention this and you don’t notice the lower lines until you’ve eaten down to it! The Extreme Foods desserts were pretty tasty, so you might be seeing these at some point as our current dessert range is just the 4 options from Mountain House.
If you’re after a standard freeze dried meal then Expedition Foods or Mountain House are the best options. If you want a selection of meals with a set calorific value as opposed to a set weight then Expedition Foods offer this while the Mountain House meals are set to a specific weight.
And here’s Will and Graham thinking they are at a Forestia photo shoot…