• Dry Weight 90 Grams
  • Calories/Serve 382 Calories
  • Cost $11.99

Back Country Cuisine Creamy Carbonara

Single serve


Rating: 7.3 / 10
Value for Money 1.3 / 2.5
Taste 1.2 / 2.5
Convenience 2.3 / 2.5
Weight   2.5 / 2.5

Back Country Cuisine Creamy Carbonara Review

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. In addition to the large variety of twin serves, the company also has single serves (entrée size) although the single serve options don’t seem to have as large a variety at least as far as the stores I visit. I’m still working my way though the very large range but I am finding this adventure is a bit hit and miss. But then again, everyone’s tastes are different!

Now I need to be upfront here and say that I’m not a fan of pasta carbonara at the best of times so this meal would not be one I would usually eat. Having said that I went into this taste test with an open mind. Unfortunately this meal didn’t really excite me. I know what a good pasta carbonara tastes like and while I realise this is a rehydrated version that is not going to stack up against an Italian restaurant, I would at least expect this to taste reasonably rich and creamy. The taste overall was fine but I found the flavouring a bit too artificial; and sure enough while it doesn’t contain MSG (flavour enhancer 621), it does contain another flavour enhancer; 635. Flavour enhancers and I don’t get on well so I try to avoid them whenever I can. Apart from making me feel a bit ‘seedy’ I find it just doesn’t taste quite right. If you have to add flavour via enhancers, then to me that means that something else is missing. 

This meal offering from Back Country Cuisine recommends adding 220 ml of boiling water and leaving it for ten minutes. The water recommendation on this meal was spot on but as usual, I left the meal for about 11-12 minutes just to ensure a good consistency.

The normal price sits around the $11.99 mark for a single serve pack with the twin serves working out more cost effective at $16.99. 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/spoon 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.

So what is the final verdict? While this meal was OK the fact it contains flavour enhancer is a real negative for me and there are just too many other meal options, from both Back Country and Outdoor Gourmet that are better and I would rather eat given the choice. As such I won’t be adding the Creamy Carbonara to my regular hiking meal list on future trips.

We Like

  • Three year warranty which means you can buy these when you see them discounted thereby reducing the price. You also know the meals will always be edible
  • Minimal preparation time.  All you are doing is rehydrating these meals so once you add boiling water there’s only a 10-12 minute wait
  • If you eat from the bag there is only your eating implement to clean up. In fact you may not even need to carry a bowl at all thereby limiting the weight you carry
  • A very large variety of meals from which to choose both single and double serves so it’s unlikely you will become bored unless you are on a really long hike
  • Freeze dried. This takes much of the weight out of the meals and helps to limit the impact on your body
  • Single serve option provides just the right size for solo travellers on a short trip

We Don't Like

  • The main negatives of any commercially preprepared dehydrated/freeze dried meals is the cost. The Back Country Cuisine meals are cheaper than their competitors which only offer twin serve meals however per person this single serve meal is $11.99 which is not cheap. These meals are cheaper/serve when bought in the twin serve size
  • Single serves start being a bit small on longer trips when you burn through the calories. I will usually pack a mix of single and double meals on longer trips
  • Added flavour enhancer (635) that for me at least makes the food tastes a bit ‘plastic’

Best Uses

An easy to prepare meal whether it be on a short or long trip for camping and hiking

Buy One

You can purchase the Back Country Cuisine Creamy Carbonara online from Snowys, or from  Wildfire Sports

Disclosure: We may earn a small commission, at no additional expense to you, if you click through and make a purchase. Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our reviews. If we don’t like a product, you’ll hear about it from us!

If you have eaten the Back Country Cuisine Creamy Carbonara or if you have any questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below

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Back Country Cuisine Creamy Carbonara as purchased

Meal bag with the base folded out

Back Country Cuisine Creamy Carbonara unrehydrated

Back Country Cuisine Creamy Cabonara ready to eat


This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker

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