The trail is not the place you want to try out new things. It is always imperative to test everything you are going to take on the trail before stepping off. Food is no exception. The last thing you want is to make a meal after a long day of hiking and you cannot stomach the smell or the taste. Always test your gear and your food before heading out.
Backpacker’s Country: Risotto with Chicken
This meal provides a meal full of taste and sustenance. There is very little negative, for my taste, about this meal. This will be a future meal on the trail for me and part of my hiking supply stash.
This meal comes in at a total weight of approx. 7.8oz (216g), the meal itself is 5.8oz (164g). That means that you will have to pack out approximately 2oz (52g). This may be a bit heavy for those who are trying to go ultralight.
The package contains two servings. Eating the entire bag comes in at 600 Calories, 6g of fat (3g Sat Fat), 50mg of Cholesterol, 2440mg of Sodium, 100g of Total Carbohydrates (4g of Fiber, 8g of sugar) and 38g of Protein. Also 20% of your daily Calcium intake, 8% of Iron and 12% of Potassium. Not too bad to replenish most of what you have used in a day of hiking.
It does require 2 cups (470 ml) of water, a typical amount for a meal this size.
The “cooking” process requires the water to be boiled and poured into the resalable pouch. Stir the water and meal together and seal the pouch. After 15 to 20 minutes, the meal is ready to eat (more time may be needed at higher altitudes).
The front of the package reads, “AN ITALIAN STYLE COMBINATION OF RICE, PARMESAN CHEESE, WHITE MEAT CHICKEN, ONION, BROCCOLI, SWEET CORN, BELL PEPPER, AND TOMATO. DELIZIOSO, ABBONDANZA”.
The meal was very good with a pleasing taste. The water was measured in a controlled environment according to the instructions. Although 2 cups (470 ml) were used as directed, not all of the water was absorbed after 23+ minutes. Towards the end of the meal I noticed a slight grainy feel to the meal. The soak/cook time is double of some of the other meals and by the time I was done eating, it was getting cold. Such a long soak/cook time will may make the meal get cold sooner at colder temperatures (meal was served in a 70° F (21.1° C)). The weight of the packaging and the long soak/cook time may be a reason for some people to avoid.
Overall a good meal and I give it 4 spoons out of 4.