|Rating:||8.4 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.8 / 2.5|
|Taste||1.9 / 2.5|
|Convenience||2.2 / 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. 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.
This meal surprised me as I came to it thinking how different can it be to the Pasta Vegetariano? The winner for me was the rice noodles. I just find that they make this meal more appealing than the pasta version. In fact as I could only source the twin serve meal when doing my taste test, I managed to eat the whole lot and that’s not because the meal was so small but more because I enjoyed it so much.
The Back Country Cuisine Vegetarian Stirfry meal tastes good and has a good mixture of noodle to vegetable ratio. The taste is well balanced and I love the texture of the rice noodles so I think that most hikers will appreciate this meal.
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. The packet recommends to add 500 ml of water so I reduced the amount of water to 470 ml which was spot on. I also suggest increasing the rehydration time to around 12 minutes rather than the recommended ten minutes.
The normal price sits around the AUD $19.99 RRP mark for a twin serve pack which works out to be more cost effective than the single serves that usually cost around AUD $12.99 RRP. 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 because you can re-zip the zip lock for clean disposal.
So what is the final verdict? This is a meal that will go into my top 10 and will now form part of my normal meal rotation. If you see it in the stores, you it is well worth trying!
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AUD $19.99 RRP
Back Country Cuisine Vegetarian Stirfry meal as purchased
Meal bag with the base folded out
Back Country Cuisine Vegetarian Stirfry meal unrehydrated
Back Country Cuisine Vegetarian Stirfry meal rehydrated and ready to eat. This is one of the better looking Back Country meals and the taste is also excellent
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker