|Rating:||6 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.6 / 2.5|
|Taste||1.6 / 2.5|
|Convenience||2.3 / 2.5|
|Weight||.5 / 2.5|
Campers Pantry have been known over the past couple of years as producers of high quality freeze dried vegetables but in late 2017 they became the newest entry into the Australian freeze dried meal market releasing ten main meal options in addition to three dessert choices. I was lucky enough to test out some of the prototypes and based on that, I was eagerly awaiting the appearance on the market. These meals are progressively becoming more commonly available and can also be ordered both online, in store and through the supplier.
Campers Pantry has done the homework and these main meal offerings which are single serve, sit in the middle, size-wise, of the other two brands at 110 grams. On simple overnight trips, I find that the single serve offerings from Back Country work well but on multi week trips they are just not enough. This larger single serve suits those of us with bigger appetites who don’t want to go with the full twin serve option. In addition these meals offer some great variety rather than trying to duplicate what is already on offer and in doing so, expand the freeze dried meal choices on offer. This includes two vegetarian offerings, that means that everyone should be happy.
Like many of the offerings from Campers Pantry the Moroccan Pork is unique so I was eagerly looking forward to taste testing it. This meal also contains vegetables and couscous as well as pork. For me personally I found the ratio of couscous a bit high and I can’t say that I really noticed the vegetables within the meal itself although I am sure that they were there. Like other meal offerings from Campers Pantry the taste was noticeably less artificial than many of the existing meal choices on the Australian market. In addition there is less salt and as someone who doesn’t add salt to food, I appreciate this.
My main gripe is that I like spicy food, and I mean really spicy food. I know that many of you prefer your meals slightly on the blander side and from a manufacturers perspective this is a safer route but I found myself wanting to a bit more zing to the meal. Now don’t get me wrong I didn’t find the taste of this meal to be bad, in fact it was quite edible and also very filling.
Campers Pantry meals have a higher protein content than the other available brands on the market which is so important particularly over the longer trips. The Moroccan Pork has 50.4 grams of protein per single serve pack compared to under 16-17 grams per serve from other meals on offer. The calorie content is also high at 627-calories for the single serve pack which as someone that can burn anywhere up to 8,500 calories in a single day I really appreciate.
The Campers Pantry bag recommends adding 250 grams of boiling water to rehydrate this meal but the supplier informed me that when he reprints the bags he will increase this recommendation. I added 300 mls of water as suggested by the supplier and this produced a good consistency. Campers Pantry recommend allowing 20 minutes for rehydration with an occasional stir and partly this is due to the extra protein in the meals requiring this additional time to absorb the water but also because the 10 minutes that the other manufactures recommend is not enough.
The normal price for these meals sits around the $15.95 mark for a single serve pack which if you compare this to the offerings from Back Country Cuisine single serves is expensive. However, lets talk value for money rather than cost. These meals are great tasting, have a much higher protein content than the other choices currently available on the market which while not an issue for short trips is very important on the longer more physically demanding trips. They also have a higher calorie content which helps to reduce the food weight you carry – particularly important for longer trips. These meals have a two year shelf life so you can stock up at the sales 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 if you want to leave the bowl at home. Unlike Back County and Outdoor Gourmet, the Campers Pantry meals don’t have a tear point to make the food easier to access. This doesn’t bother me as I prefer to use a long handled spoon and leave the bag intact otherwise you can end up a big mess in your rubbish bag.
So what is the final verdict? While I did like this meal as someone that likes a lot of spice in his food I found it just a bit bland for my taste. This could be remedied with the addition of some Sumac or other similar spice. I will add this meal to my hiking meal rotation but not as a mainstay.
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$15.95 AUD RRP
Campers Pantry Moroccan Pork meal as purchased
Meal bag with the base folded out allowing the bag to remain upright while rehydrating
Campers Pantry Moroccan Pork meal unrehydrated
Campers Pantry Moroccan Pork meal rehydrated and ready to eat
This review was done with product provided by Campers Pantry