I love food. I mean I really love food: Simple food, peasant food, exotic food, fine food - I love food. Freeze-dried, dehydrated and any packaged food or ready meal is generally something I would steer clear of.
However, for all the joy that being out in the wild brings, the restrictions of a rucksack often means that you have to make certain compromises on the food you take, or alternatively you go all hunter-gatherer! Realistically it needs to be light, calorie-rich and only then do you start thinking about how it tastes. Whether it offends the inner Escoffier or not, you have to face the fact that food is fuel when you are travelling by human power. And this is the context in which this review should be considered.
Summit To Eat make a wide range of main meals, desserts and breakfasts prepared then freeze-dried to provide a "lightweight, versatile food source". And their brand name is a pun, which is a good thing (well it is if you're British).
In their own words:
"Our hearty meals are the perfect accompaniment to any camping trip or bigger adventure. Lightweight, portable, quick to prepare and, importantly, absolutely delicious. Our meals are packed with carbohydrates and protein, designed to keep you full and ready for whatever the great outdoors throws at you."
A review of summit To Eat freeze-dried meals.
COST: From £4.50 to £5.50
- Weight: (Dry Pouch) Main meals 112g-136g, Breakfasts 80g-91g, Desserts 86g-97g
- Calories: Main Meals 499-603, Breakfasts 449-469, Desserts 300-447\
- Meals: 8 Main Meals, 3 Desserts, 2 Breakfasts.
What I have tried so far:
Preparation is super-simple. You open the packet, put the recommended amount of water in, reseal and wait for 8 minutes. You cant really get it wrong as there are also handy markers on the inside of the packet which is particularly good if you just want to boil a whole load of water at once and use it for different meals or drinks. The seal also works very well.
VALUE: They are not the cheapest (£4.50 to £5.50) on the market but they are calorie-packed and weigh comparatively little so from this point of view I think they are decent value.
TASTE: The main meal I ate was the Chicken Tikka with Rice and it compares very favourably with your average supermarket flavoured pasta, rice or risotto type packet you might pick up. It had more interesting flavours, wasn't as bland as is often the case, and after a long day walking I both needed it and enjoyed it.
The Custard Apple Crunch was the kind of thing I would also be happy eating again in the same situation, although it did have some dry powder in one corner so make sure you stir well!
The Scrambled Egg with Cheese which you can see me faffing around with in the video below is not really the consistency of scrambled egg. It is on the rubbery side, and I would never put cheese in my scrambled egg, given the choice. If you would then you might be happy with this.
MORE: But this is not "real food", so to speak, and the context is important. I think in future I would stick to a sweet option for breakfast but I will be happy to eat the main meals and desserts, with the exception of Pasta Bolognaise, cos, you know, I'm Italian and "Bolognaise" is not even an Italian word, and anyway why is everyone obsessed with a sauce nobody in Italy ever eats... ah never mind, thats another story. Watch the video.
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