|Rating:||8.7 / 10|
|Value for Money||2.1 / 2.5|
|Taste||2.0 / 2.5|
|Convenience||2.2 / 2.5|
|Weight||2.4 / 2.5|
The Outdoor Gourmet Company provides freeze dried meals to the Australian market. As far as commercially preprepared meals go and as the name suggests, they are a high end, high taste product. I’m a big fan of nearly all the Outdoor Gourmet Company meals and while I will very happily eat any of them I have my favourites.
The Outdoor Gourmet Coq au Vin (Chicken) is one of those meals I have a love hate relationship with and I’ll explain why in a minute. Like all meals that have a seperate potato pouch I prefer to mix it through and eat it as a combined meal. I must admit I can never see the purpose of having the mash separate and find it annoying having two seperate meal bags. It may not look as pretty as its supposed to, but I’m fine with the result and it tastes the same. The texture of this meal is good and the various components that make up this meal resemble what they are supposed to and more importantly you can taste them. This meal has just the right amount of seasoning and I do love the taste.
Now to the hate bit of this relationship. Something is this meal, I’m not sure what, gives me gas. Not a real problem if I have my own tent but this is not a meal I want to eat when I’m in unfamiliar company.
Unlike other companies, Outdoor Gourmet focuses on providing meals for two. These meals are larger than their competitor’s offerings (produced by the same company) by approximately 8-9% which doesn’t sound like much but does help explain the premium price. I’m a big eater and even after a two week long trip I am looking for more calories having used up the bodies reserves by this stage so will often pack some two person servings every 2-3 nights.
The obvious negative with any freeze dried meals, and in particular with Outdoor Gourmet offerings is the price. The normal price sits around the $19.99 mark and at about $10.00 per person that isn’t cheap. Having said that, how much do you pay for a fast food meal these days? However the products do have a long shelf life so you can stock up during the regular sales at the outdoor stores.
These meals are very easy to prepare and as long as you can boil water then you are set with preparation time requiring only ten minutes. Although I will usually allow them to sit for 12 minutes (instead of the suggested 10 minutes) and stir half way through. Like all the outdoor Gourmet meals the recommended amount of water to add is spot on and provides a good consistency. I have yet to use cold water (and there is no reason why you can’t) however you would need to allow more time (a couple of hours to be ready for eating).
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 spoon 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.
The Outdoor Gourmet Coq au Vin is a very good meal option, one of my favourites, and despite the ‘gas’ issue is well worth considering as part of hiking diet.
Great choice for an easy to prepare meal whether it be on a short or long trip. The Outdoor Gourmet meals are really good for couples being just that little bit bigger which make all the difference after a week on the trail
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The Outdoor Gourmet Company provides a range of main meals in a twin serve size these include:
Vegan Lentil Dhal
AUD $19.99 RRP
Outdoor Gourmet Coq au Vin as purchased
The bottom of the bag opens out to provide a flat surface. Opening out the base will allow the meal to more evenly rehydrate. If you don’t open the base out, you will get ‘dry pieces’ in your dinner
Picture of the uncooked meal in the now open bag
Potato sachet unopened
Potato sachet opened but unrehydrated
The meal now rehydrated and the bag ‘torn down’. The real food is recognisable in these meals. I will always pre-mix the mashed potato through the meal as I can’t be bothered preparing two seperate meal pouches. It saves having to use a bowl when you really don’t one
AUD $19.99 RRP
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker