|Rating:||8.5 / 10|
|Value for Money||2.0 / 2.5|
|Taste||1.9 / 2.5|
|Convenience||2.2 / 2.5|
|Weight||2.4 / 2.5|
The Campers Pantry Penne Bolognese replaces the Spaghetti Bolognese in the range and there are pros and cons to this change. First up I’ll be honest, I never buy penne at home given its well down my list of options when making pasta so in that sense I preferred the previous spaghetti option.
On the plus side the shape of the penne holds the sauce a bit better but only if you mix it up well when rehydrating. The ratio of meat to pasta is good, the texture is good and the quantity works well. The taste was noticeably less artificial than many of the existing pasta 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 with this meal 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. I found myself wanting to add parmesan cheese and a bit of pepper just to give it that tiny bit of tang which is what I now do when I’m eating this meal. I know this is being picky but I make Spaghetti Bolognese from scratch at home and I do add spice to the mix. Having said that its always easier to add spice than it is to take it out.
Campers Pantry meals have a good level of protein content which is so important particularly over the longer trips. The Penne Bolognese has 21 grams of protein per single serve meal. The calorie count for a single serve is also good meaning you can minimise the weight you carry to get the appropriate amount of food (listen our Podcast 057 on nutrition on the trail on the importance of protein on longer trips).
Now onto the meal itself. This meal part of Campers Pantry’s Expedition Range so the packaging is lighter and more compact than other meals. Preparing this meal is a bit more fiddly than traditional freeze dried meals due to the vacuum sealing process. Once you tear the top of this bag off, the preparation process while quite easy, is a bit more fiddly requiring you to take out the internal paper bag with the food in it, flatten out the outer meal pouch to create a standing bowl, place the freeze dried food back into the pouch, and add 300 ml of boiling water before letting stand for ten minutes. At the five minute mark you need to stir the meal. In practice, the additional step of taking the internal bag out and adding it to the outer packaging only takes a matter of a seconds, so no big time impost.
Price wise this single serve meal is AUD$15.95 RRP at the time of review. For a single serve meal this is on the higher end of the scale but given the compact packaging and longevity in storage, this meal is great value. For testing I had this meal as a dinner on the South Coast Track and found it to be very filling and warming at the end of a long hard day but not so large that I struggled to eat it.
While I preferred the previous spaghetti version of this meal, as pasta meals go this is a good option and one that many hikers will appreciate, particularly on those colder nights.
You can purchase the Campers Pantry Penne Bolognese from Campers Pantry
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PLEASE NOTE: As a special offer Campers Pantry is offering a 15% discount on meal purchases (information correct as at 11 June 2023). This discount will be applied at the checkout when you make your purchase via the above link
The following Campers Pantry meals are also available in the expedition packing:
AUD $15.95 RRP
Campers Pantry Penne Bolognese as purchased
iPhone 14 Pro on Campers Pantry Expedition Range for size comparison
Campers Pantry Penne Bolognese nutrition list
Campers Pantry Penne Bolognese ingrediant list
Campers Pantry Expedition Range packaging opened up
Campers Pantry Expedition Range packaging with meal rehydrating
Campers Pantry Penne Bolognese ready to eat
Campers Pantry Penne Bolognese artistically displayed
This review was done with product provided by Campers Pantry