Im a carnivore and although a bowl of instant potatos, seasoned rice, or buttered spaghetti with cheese is a very warming, comforting thing I still need meat to make a meal feel like a meal. Unfortunately, meat doesnt have the stable-at-room-temperature life of, say, dried beans. Sure,you can buy canned meats and there are folks who swear Spam is actually tasty and yummy. I find all canned meats, except tuna, just a bit creepy. When you open the cans Im always reminded of cat food.
So…whats a carnivore to do for that quick fix of striated muscle tissue that makes any meal more pleasin’? Well, MRE’s usually have a meat component but lets be real – MRE’s are adequate for their task, they arent exactly so good youd eat ’em if you didnt have to. (Although some are pretty good.)
However, I found this new product in Super Wallyworld a couple months back and after staring at it in the cabinet for several weeks I finally decided to try it.
Instructions say to use a frying pan or a microwave. However, I dont normally carry a frying pan or microwave in my gear bag. I do, however, carry a canteen and canteen cup which fits nicely on a backpack stove. So….deposit pouch into canteen cup of boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes.
Pouch is of the heavy, metalized kind we’ve come to expect from MRE entrees. Heavy duty stuff. To be safe though, you probably donbt want to reuse the water youre heating it in since some inks or other nasties may migrate off the exterior of the pouch into the water. Six minutes was plenty of time to heat up. Removed chicken and put it on a plate. Looks good and smells pretty good. Texture is a bit soft…a little firmer than a chunk of chicken you;d get out of some soup. The cut of meat was trimmed pretty well and looked quite appetizing. Taste was better than anything Ive had out of an MRE pouch. The flavorings (in this case ‘garlic and herb’) were a bit strong but I t hink that would be greatly mitigated by serving it with the usual bland accompaniments like rice, potatoes, pasta, etc. Would make an excellent candidate for sandwichs or, since it shreds fairly easily, tacos/burritos.
Shelf life is approx. two years but I would be quite confident its as long as the average MRE entree….Can probably, although I havent tried it, heat it on any hot surface just like an MRE (exhaust manifold, engine block, hot conduit, pavement at noon, etc, etc.)
Not cheap, but really really convenient. A package of Idahoan just-add-water potatoes, this stuff, maybe a can of corn or other vegetable and you can have a decent meal using just water and a backpacking stove. Im going to have to see if I can find a price on these things in bulk to beat WallyWorlds pricing. Wouldnt mind having a dozen or so on hand. They’d also be convenient for quick meals at home.
More importantly, I dont have to become a vegetarian.