Rating: 8.2 / 10
Value for Money 1.7 / 2.5
Taste 1.7 / 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 hikers must be meat eaters on average? 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 Back Country Pasta Vegetariano offering is one of the more common offerings catering for vegetarians who seem to miss out on a big meal selection. 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!
The taste of this meal offering is pretty good overall and I would be happy too eat this anytime that it was on offer. The mix of vegetable and pasta is good and the flavouring is also something that while neutral will please just about anyone apart from the most ardent meat eater. As is the case for most freeze dried pasta dishes you really need a spork or a fork to eat them as straight out spoons just don’t manage the spiral pasta very well. With many of the Back Country Cusine freeze dried meals I would recommend reducing the amount of water added as the recommended amount of water often leaves the meals a bit on the wet side. However in this case the water recommendation was spot on. 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 more 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? While not likely to make my top five the Back Country Pasta Vegetariano is worthwhile adding, particularly for vegetarians. While I won’t necessarily add this to my meal rotation on short trips but it will make it into my meal choices for longer trips.
You can purchase the Back Country Pasta Vegetariano meal online from Wild Earth
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Hearty Venison Casserole
Malaysian Vegetable Curry
Back Country Pasta Vegetariano as purchased
Meal bag with the base folded out
Back Country Pasta Vegetariano unrehydrated
Back Country Pasta Vegetariano rehydrated and easy to eat
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer