|Rating:||9 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.8 / 2.5|
|Taste||2.2 / 2.5|
|Convenience||2.5 / 2.5|
|Weight||2.5 / 2.5|
I am a big cheese fan and on a hike I will eat a 225 gram block of fresh cheddar cheese in the first two days as my lunch option. I strongly prefer fresh cheese to the processed option as it just tastes so much better. On extended hikes when I am forwarding food resupplies my cheese selection changes to the processed version because I know it will be going through the post and sitting in an unrefrigerated cardboard box for a week or two before I get to it. Having now tested this product out I’m saying goodbye to processed cheese.
Lets start with the negatives first and like any freeze dried food that’s the price. When compared to a standard block of processed or fresh cheese from a supermarket, the Campers Pantry Cheddar Cheese Bites at a RRP of $16.95 AUD isn’t cheap. This product weighs in at 200 grams in its freeze dried form and its original fresh form starts out as 330 grams. Without doing a taste test and going purely on price alone, I thought this lightweight option seemed a bit expensive.
Now for the positives. I’m a big believer in value for money and that includes food tasting good. As relatively cheap and convenient that processed cheese is, the taste is not great and this is where the Campers Pantry Cheddar Cheese Bites excel. This cheese, comes in roughly 10 mm cubes and its moisture content has been reduced by around 40%. What this ends up doing is concentrating the flavour so if you are a big fan of ‘sharp’ cheddar cheeses then you are going to love this.
Taste wise I found myself continually going back to snack on this cheese and while for it should last me for three lunches I would quickly clean it up in two meals, or even one if I’m being greedy. That’s not a bad thing as weight loss is a real issue for me on a long distance hike. The freeze drying process turns these bites into a calorie dense product at around 632 Calories (2646 Kilojoules) per 100 grams which make this an ultralight meal option. Given the moisture reduction I initially expected the bites to be crunchy and while it was certainly harder than fresh cheese, it had just the right amount of moisture and texture which surprised me.
In its unopened form it will last quite comfortably for a couple of years. Like any cheese product the recommendation is to refrigerate after opening or eat it up in a few days to stop it reabsorbing moisture and potentially starting to mould. In my case this won’t be a problem and I will definitely add it to my meal rotation as a lunch for two on a day hike or as part of my long distance hiking meal plan.
These bites are also versatile – eat them from the pack or add to your favourite hiking soup or one pot meal.
This really is a great product and one I wish I’d tested earlier. Life is too short to eat bad cheese!
You can purchase the Campers Pantry Freeze Cheddar Cheese Bits from Campers Pantry
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AUD $16.95 RRP
Campers Pantry Cheddar Cheese Bites as purchased
The facts – Camper Pantry cheese
Campers Pantry Cheddar Cheese Bites in open packet
This review was done with product provided by Campers Pantry