Rating: 8.0 / 10
Value for Money 1.6 / 2.5
Taste 1.6 / 2.5
Convenience 2.3 / 2.5
Weight 2.5 / 2.5
The Back Country Cuisine range of outdoor meals is probably the best known in Australia. These meals are stocked by the majority of outdoor stores and many people consider them the staple meal choice for outdoor activities. Back Country has a huge range of meal choices and many stores seem to select a ‘top ten’ so you are unlikely to find the full range in any one store. I guess the assumption is that hikers must be meat eaters on average, right? In addition, to the large variety of single serves (entrée size/single person), the company also has twin serves although the single serve options don’t seem to have as large a variety at least as far as the stores I visit.
The taste of the Back Country Chicken Tomato Alfredo meal, while nothing spectacular isn’t offensive in any way, it isn’t too spicy and as such I would happy to eat this anytime that it was on offer. I’m not quite sure where the tomato comes in as I can’t really taste it, for me this is just a chicken pasta dish. As is the case for most freeze dried pasta dishes, you really need a spork or a fork to eat them as spoons just don’t manage the pasta as well.
With many of the Back Country Cusine freeze dried meals I suggest reducing the amount of water added as the recommended amount of water often leaves the meals a bit on the wet side and this meal offering is no different. In fact it’s one of the worst. The packet recommends to add 220 ml of water and after deciding to play it safe and only adding 200 ml that was still way too much. I would suggest trying around 180 ml and if you find this a bit thick then add a tiny bit more after about 5 minutes of rehydration time. I would however suggest increasing the rehydration time to around 12 minutes rather than the recommended ten minutes.
The normal price sits around the $10.95 mark for a single serve pack which works out to be less cost effective than the twin serves that usually cost around $15.95. Most of the larger chain stores offer member discounts or have regular sales so its worthwhile looking around. These products do have a long shelf life so you can stock up at the sales come in anticipation of an upcoming trip.
The meal comes in a bag that is well designed and the bottom opens out to provide a flat base for those minimalists who want to leave the bowl at home. The option exists to tear the top off the bag to allow easy access to the food but you if you have a long handled spork/fork you won’t need to tear the bag. My other reason for not tearing the top off the bag is that you minimise any mess and after you’re done, you can re-zip the zip lock for clean disposal.
So what is the final verdict? This meal won’t make my top five however I would happily eat it if there wasn’t another option or to provide a bit of variety for longer trips. If you don’t like spicy food then this is a good option.
You can purchase the Back Country Chicken Tomato Alfredo meal online from Wildfire Sports
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Back Country Cuisine Chicken Tomato Alfredo as purchased
Meal bag with the base folded out
Back Country Cuisine Chicken Tomato Alfredo unrehydrated
Back Country Chicken Tomato Alfredo rehydrated and ready to eat
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer