Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Reviews of Long-Term Storage Foods

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Papadoc
    replied
    Re: Kirkwood Chicken and Dumplings

    Thanks RR. This is good to know as living in Missouri I have an Aldi's right here in town.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Kirkwood Chicken and Dumplings

    Kirkwood Chicken and Dumplings

    I am deviating from my usual format a bit because, well, first of all I was hungry.

    All opinions expressed in this review are my own as I was the sole taste tester. I was scanning the pantry shelves and set my eye upon this item and decided what the heck, it was time for a shelf life/taste test

    This evaluation will also be of limited use to many here because of the availability factor. Kirkwood is distributed by Aldi Inc., of Batavia, IL, which is a German-owned discount grocer serving the eastern and central US, but not Maine and only the eastern parts of Nebraska and Kansas, none of Mississippi and Alabama, but all of Oklahoma and Texas, and also southern California. A map giving you a general service area idea can be found here:

    http://aldiuscareers.com/locations

    The manufacturer’s code indicates the product was produced in March 2004. Thus this product has been sitting around on a shelf for some 10 years now. It is a wet pack canned product, one of those usually said to have a relatively short shelf life. If you can call 10 years short that is….

    The can is 24 ounces in capacity and was well filled. The entire can was placed in a saucepan and heated through, and then dumped in a bowl. That was it. No additives or extras.

    The dumplings are heavy, thick and pasta-like, sort of what might be referred to as a potato dumpling, and shaped like something akin to a ravioli. The chicken was well dispersed throughout the product and listed as the primary ingredient. The juice within the can is more like a chicken broth than just water. Tasty, too.

    The taste was pleasant to my palate, though I did break down and add just a quick pass over with the sea salt grinder. Even without that it was not bland. This was not quire Cracker Barrel quality but probably as close as you can get out a can.

    Now the great caveat: As the product sample was over 10 years old I do not know if the manufacturing standards have been stayed to. I sincerely hope they have because this is a good product, with a decent balance of carbs to proteins at approx 2:1 (27 Gms vs 14 Gms). I have not passed by an Aldi store since before the Joplin tornado struck and that was in fact the last Aldi I shopped out. That’s what happens when you live in the Mohave desert.

    I’m giving this product a rating of 4.0 hemostats for taste, texture and shelf life.

    RR

    Leave a comment:


  • Papadoc
    replied
    Re: Backpacker's Pantry Garden Vegetable Couscous

    Thanks RR, I will have to give this one a try.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Backpacker's Pantry Garden Vegetable Couscous

    All foods sampled have either been provided by a retailer seeking objective reviews, or have been personally purchased for storage, or in some cases specifically for testing before committing to a large quantity. The testers are a combination of Boy Scouts and adults in order to get a decent sample of how well the products might be received in an austere (wilderness, survival, disaster response) setting by various age groups. Testers range in age from 12 to 68 years, and the testers normally consume a mix of home diets.

    Backpacker’s Pantry Garden Vegetable Couscous

    This product is geared for certain tastes and may not appeal to everyone. It is described as a “hearty mix of vegetables and couscous in a light butter sauce.” It is listed as being both organic and vegetarian.

    The above disclaimer being made allow me to say this product has been more than any other product tested a total surprise, and in a very good way. I have personally always avoided couscous as being unappealing. After testing this product I may have to radically readjust my thinking.

    The taste test panel for this item consisted of 2 Boy Scouts and 4 adults: 2 males and 2 females.

    Rating was on a scale of 0-5 hemostats (stars), with the product prepared in a community church kitchen in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Liquid measurements and temps were precise; sitting time after rehydrating was as directed and each person had their own portion from the community pot to sample.

    The packaging was the standard foil pouch used by American Outdoor Products, the manufacturer of the food being sampled. The package promised 1 14 ounce serving when reconstituted.



    Backpacker’s Pantry estimates a 7-year shelf life for their foil pouch products. The product did include the usual oxygen absorber. Be sure to dig it out before you add the water.

    The food was very easy to prepare, merely add a measure of boiling water to the pouch, stir and let sit for 13 minutes. The directions are set for an altitude of 5,000 feet. In this instance the altitude of the test kitchen was 550 feet.


    For the first time we have a new taste tester involved, who happens to be a native of Bangladesh. Couscous is a familiar product to her and her appraisal in this instance was very telling.

    Comments and ratings are subjective and as quoted by the individual testers.

    Comments from the testers included:

    Definitely interesting. Sweet. Rated 4/5. (adult male)

    It was good. 4/5 (Mr. Eats Everything Scout)


    This is good! I like it. 3.5/5 Adult female.

    This is really good. 8/5 (adult female Bangladeshi native) Yes, she really rated it as 8 stars out of 5.

    I liked it. 4.0 (Scout)

    5.0 (adult male)

    This time around the adults were more impressed than the Scouts. Yes, our native couscous eater did actually rate the taste as off the scale at 8 out of 5 hemostats (stars).

    Considerations of organic vs. not aside (this is, as stated previously) this product is very deserving of a special place in your preps. It is a very high carbohydrate vs. protein food, with 64 carbs to 15 proteins per serving. As an energy food it rates highly, exactly what a high altitude hiker would want, or someone who is ‘bugging out.’ High carbs, high fat (18 grams per serving).

    The ingredients include whole wheat couscous, extra virgin olive oil, corn, carrots, peas, chicken soup flavor (vegetarian), parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, sea salt, parsley and black pepper. This is very important as you will soon see.

    My personal experience with couscous is the past has been exactly zero. Nada, zilch, nothing. I had low expectations for this, and must admit that before the first bite hit my mouth I was surprised and pleased. The odor of cinnamon graham cereal hit me immediately as the spoon neared my mouth. Notice the ingredients list above: no cinnamon, no graham (rye by any other name). Nevertheless that is the impression I had. Need I say it was a very welcome impression at that?

    The Scouts rated the product a solid 4/5 hemostats. The adults? From a low of 3.5 to off the scale at 8!

    I kid you not, I want more of this. I want it for my Bug-Out Bag, my car emergency bag, and as a treat in my long-term food stores. This is cold-weather-you-need-carbs-to-burn-to-stay-warm stuff, high altitude camping/hiking quick-to-fix-no-pot–necessary food, and need-a-boost-to keep-going chow. The greatest drawback to it that I can see is whether or not it will reconstitute well with cold or tepid water rather than boiling. As an emergency rather than planned (hiking, camping, etc) food this could be important. Or not.

    For anyone for whom couscous is a familiar item this would be comfort food. For the rest of us? A very pleasant surprise.

    Children are known to be finicky eaters, and any food storage program that includes children in the equation needs to take that into account.

    The average rating was 4.75 out of 5 amongst a group of 6 testers.


    RR’s final opinion: I wish it came in a #10 can. It was that good.

    RR

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Backpacker's Pantry Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

    All foods sampled have either been provided by a retailer seeking objective reviews, or have been personally purchased for storage, or in some cases specifically for testing before committing to a large quantity. The testers are a combination of Boy Scouts and adults in order to get a decent sample of how well the products might be received in an austere (wilderness, survival, disaster response) setting by various age groups. Testers range in age from 12 to 68 years, and the testers normally consume a mix of home diets ranging from low income or economy cuisine to an Atkins-type high protein/low carb (read that: pricey) lifestyle.

    Backpacker’s Louisiana Red Beans and Rice


    This product is geared for a certain ethnicity as it were, and may not appeal to everyone. It is a spicy dish, vegetarian in nature, and touted as being all-natural. There are no additives or preservatives listed.

    There is a good balance of red beans mixed in with the rice, along with tomato, onion, New Mexico chili pepper and cayenne pepper. Note that sugar is also a somewhat prominent ingredient, listed ahead of cumin and oregano.

    The taste test panel for this item consisted of 2 Boy Scouts and 4 adults: 2 males and 2 females.

    Rating was on a scale of 0-5 hemostats (stars), with the product prepared in a community church kitchen in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Liquid measurements and temps were precise; sitting time after rehydrating was as directed and each person had their own portion from the community pot to sample.

    The packaging was the standard #10 can used by American Outdoor Products, the manufacturer of the food being sampled. The package promised 27 1-cup servings when reconstituted.


    Though it is not stated on the package the beans and rice appear to have been prepared by freeze-drying, which makes for a faster prep time when boiling water is added, unlike dried beans which may require at least an hour to soak before being cooked.

    Backpacker’s Pantry estimates a 25-year shelf life for their #10 can products. The product did include the usual oxygen absorber. In this instance I did have to dig for it as it had managed to migrate well down within the can.

    The food was very easy to prepare, merely measure out the food product and add a measured amount of boiling water, stir thoroughly, cover and let sit for at least 13 minutes.

    Comments and ratings are subjective and as quoted by the individual testers.

    Comments from the testers included:

    Missing a bit of tomato. Too spicy. Likened it to chili. Rated 3/5. (adult male)

    Good. 4/5 (Mr. Eats Everything Scout)


    Too watery. 2/5. Adult female, accustomed to real Louisiana red beans and rice.

    Okay. 3/5 (adult male)

    Alright. 3/5 (adult female)


    Good. 4.0 (Scout)

    This time around the Scouts rated the product higher than the adults, with an averaged rating of 4.0 out of 5 vs. a 3.0 for the adults. Please note that 2 of the taste testers (adult female and 15 year old Scout) are used to red beans and rice as native Louisiana fare and rated it accordingly. Thus they approached it with certain expectations for taste.

    Children are known to be finicky eaters, and any food storage program that includes children in the equation needs to take that into account.

    The average rating was 3.5 out of 5 amongst a group of 6 testers.


    RR’s final opinion: I think this product would be improved if it were combined with crumbled sausage or even Spam dices. That would make it more palatable to non-vegetarians like myself. Most testers likened it to a vegetable chili.

    RR

    Leave a comment:


  • Papadoc
    replied
    Re: Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef

    RR, Thank you for these reviews.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef

    Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef


    Mountain House has long been regarded as the gold standard against which other long-term storage foods have been judged, and with good reason. Their products are consistently high quality, exhibit good taste, and have a proven very long shelf life based on real life testing by manufacturer and consumers alike.



    Chili Mac with Beef is a staple item of many peoples’ food storage programs, and after trying the provided sample it is easy to see why. This is a comfort food of the type many of us grew up with, which would make it easy to integrate into a daily diet with little difficulty and quick acceptance by the majority of people.


    The primary ingredient is beef, followed by macaroni and kidney beans. It surpasses other brands by the fact that beef is a main ingredient rather than merely added for flavor. The protein (beef and beans) to carbs ratio runs nearly 1:2, a far better ratio to many other products that offer very little in the way of proteins.


    The product came packaged in the standard foil pouch, which MH estimates a useful shelf life for a 7 years. As I have never found reason to believe MH to overstate the shelf life of their products I would not hesitate to plan on 10 years, assuming the storage conditions were cool and dry. The lifespan is a reflection of the packaging (foil vs. steel can) rather than the product within.


    Since this is a backpacking product as packaged we prepared it as such, right in the pouch by adding boiling water, stirring, resealing and then letting it sit for 10 minutes. It was only then that it was transferred to a bowl to serve from.


    The taste test panel for this item consisted of 4 Boy Scouts – two of whom are known to be picky/finicky eaters – and 3 adults: 2 males and 1 female.

    Rating was on a scale of 0-5 hemostats (stars), with the product prepared in a community church kitchen in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Liquid measurements and temps were precise; sitting time after rehydrating was as directed and each person had their own portion from the community pot to sample.


    6 of the 7 reviewers offered opinions after sampling the food. The last one begged off because he ‘doesn’t like beans.’ Remember, kids will always be the most resistant audience for any new food product, their tastes not having matured with life experience.


    Comments from the testers included:

    A solid 4.0 It doesn’t look like much but it’s really tasty. (adult male)

    Good. 4.0 (Mr. Eats Everything)



    Worth a 4.0 Very nice, perfect, holds its place. (finicky eater)

    Could use more seasoning. 4.0



    No rating, doesn’t like beans so passed on the taste test. Same one who didn’t like nuts in another test. 12 years of age


    It was good. I’d eat it if I could eat that stuff. 4.5 stars (adult female, low-carb lifestyle)


    Very good, comforting, reminds you of mom’s goulash. 4.3 stars


    In yet another reversal this time the adults rated it higher than the kids even after discounting the one who didn’t try it due to individual dislikes (beans).


    Adults: 4.26 average


    Scouts: 4.0 average


    End assessment: if you want something that will remind of mom’s (or grandma’s for that matter) tomato, beef, macaroni and chili dish – whatever she called it – than you will want a good stock of this. It should be very easy to adjust to individual tastes by using more or less water, adding more beans, macaroni, beef, seasoning, or whatever temps your tongue.


    This should be a staple item for many people. It combines ease of preparation with versatility, and brings back good memories.


    Overall average between 6 testers: 4+ stars

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai

    All foods sampled have either been provided by a retailer seeking objective reviews, or have been personally purchased for storage, or in some cases specifically for testing before committing to a large quantity. The testers are a combination of Boy Scouts and adults in order to get a decent sample of how well the products might be received in an austere (wilderness, survival, disaster response) setting by various age groups. Testers range in age from 12 to 68 years, and the testers normally consume a mix of home diets ranging from low income or economy style to an Atkins-type high protein/low carb lifestayle.

    Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai


    Not being familiar with Thai cuisine I have to rely on the opinion of the one taste tester who is. Of three separate products tested this was far and away his personal favorite (adult male), and he equated it with any good restaurant-prepared Thai food in his experience.


    Pad Thai is a rice noodle dish, with a spicy/sweet/garlic sauce, some TVP for added texture, and peanuts for crunch and added flavor. It also contains peanut butter, which is blended in at the time of preparation. It is reminiscent of Chinese Peanut Chicken, though of course without the chicken.


    The taste test panel for this item consisted of 4 Boy Scouts – two of whom are known to be picky/finicky eaters – and 3 adults: 2 males and 1 female.

    Rating was on a scale of 0-5 hemostats (stars), with the product prepared in a community church kitchen in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Liquid measurements and temps were precise; sitting time after rehydrating was as directed and each person had their own portion from the community pot to sample.

    The packaging was the standard foil pouch used by American Outdoor Products, the manufacturer of the food being sampled. The package promised 2 13-ounce portions when prepared as directed, and it lived up to its promise.



    BP (Backpacker’s Pantry) estimates a 7-year shelf life for their packable foil-pouch products. The product did include the usual oxygen absorber, which if using the pouch as the cooking pot (something backpackers in particular like to do to save on weight) you need to be sure to remove. Doubtless it would be a tough chew and do very little to enhance the overall flavor.


    The food was easy to prepare, merely set aside the packet of peanuts, add boiling water to the pouch or cooking pot used to prepare it, and add the peanuts after first mixing to make sure the water got to everything.

    Comments and ratings are subjective and as quoted by the individual testers. Preparation time included boiling water and a 15+ minute setting time.

    Comments from the testers included:

    By far my favorite. It has a nice kick to it, the spices are just right. A solid 5. (adult male)

    Good! 5.0 (Mr. Eats Everything)

    Dry to me. I don’t care for pasta in general. 3.75 (finicky eater)

    They need to leave the nuts out. 2.0 (Subject does not care for nuts in general, which strongly affected his opinion)



    Good. 4.0


    Icky. (Made faces. Female) 0.0


    Wow, that’s spicy. I’d need to make sure there was water around when I ate that. But I would eat it. 4.0 (Adult male)


    This time around the Scouts rated the product higher than the adults, with an averaged rating of 3.7 out of 5 vs. a 3.4 for the adults, with one adult rating the product a ‘zero’ for taste.



    End assessment: if you like spicy oriental food than you will probably find this to be both tasty and comforting. The crushed chili pepper certainly adds what one tester called “kick,” and I agree. It is definitely not a Mexican hot, the difference being in the breed of peppers the different cuisines use.

    Children are known to be finicky eaters, and any food storage program that includes children in the equation needs to take that into account. The product also contains both peanuts and peanut butter, which should be considered should anyone have a peanut allergy.

    The average rating was 3.5 out of 5 amongst a group of 7 testers.



    RR’s final opinion: With this being my first encounter with Thai-style food I’ll say I much prefer Americanized Chinese, but I would certainly pick this over another brand-who-shall-not-be-named’s “oriental” offering, which has been reviewed previously.



    RR

    The manufacturer has a pic of the product on their site which, aside from the fancy dinnerware, is representative of what we had:

    http://www.backpackerspantry.com/cat.../24/image/725/

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Wise Foods Cheesy Lasagna

    Product Review: Wise Foods Cheesy Lasagna

    I am continuing with the storage foods product reviews, in accordance with previous member responses to my other threads. All foods sampled have either been provided by a retailer seeking objective reviews, or have been personally purchased for storage, or in some cases specifically for testing before committing to a large quantity. The testers are a combination of Boy Scouts and adults in order to get a decent sample of how well the products might be received in an austere (wilderness, survival, disaster response) setting by various age groups. Testers range in age from 12 to 68 years, and include a mix of regular diets ranging from low income/economy to Atkins-type high protein.

    Wise Foods Cheesy Lasagna


    The taste test panel for this item consisted of 4 Boy Scouts – two of whom are known to be picky/finicky eaters – and 3 adults, 2 males and 1 female.

    Rating was on a scale of 0-5 hemostats (stars), with the product prepared in a community church kitchen in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Liquid measurements and temps were precise; sitting time after reconstitution was as directed and each person had their own portion from the community pot to samplle.

    The packaging was the standard foil retort pouch-type commonly found in locations such as Wal-Mart (where this sample was obtained) and sporting goods stores. Wise Foods packages their pouches in buckets for bulk purchase. They do not offer canned foods. Due to the relative newness of the company in the marketplace all claims of expected storage life are relative rather than actually tested by the manufacturer insofar as real world experience.

    Comments and ratings are subjective and as quoted by the individual testers. Preparation time included boiling water and a 20+ minute setting time.

    Comments from the testers included:

    Not bad, a little bland, a little chewy. It’s edible. 3.5 (adult male)

    Rated as 4.0, no comments. (Mr. Eats Everything)

    Chewy. Very bland. Needs garlic. 3.5 (finicky eater)Okay. 3.0

    Pasty. 2.5 (hard sell, prefers hotdogs)

    No comment. 4.5 (adult female)

    Off-tasting, could stand improvement. Almost unpleasantly salty. Would benefit from meat and cheese. 3.0 (adult male)

    The adults rated it higher than the Scouts overall.

    The product reconstituted as a pasty conglomeration that made portioning easy, there was no runniness to it. It would have sat as well on a plate as it would in a bowl. Definitely suited to eating with a fork.

    The dish contains no meat. Even leaving the obviously added slice of melted mozzarella on the package cover aside the finished product bore only a passing resemblance as far as the illustrated texture.

    End assessment: assuming it was served without embellishment it would probably be better received in an outdoor setting where hunger played an important role.

    Children are known to be finicky eaters, and any food storage program that includes children in the equation needs to take that into account.

    The average rating was an even 3.0 out of 5.

    RR

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Re: Reviews of Long-Term Storage Foods

    I do happen to have a pouch of their Cheesy Lasagna to try. I see them at Wal-Mart and have another pouch of something around here but their offerings do no impress me. At least what W-M carries of their line does not.

    RR

    Leave a comment:


  • Papadoc
    replied
    Re: Backpacker’s Pantry Chicken with Gravy, Dressing and Potatoes

    Thanks for the reviews RR. Do you have any plans to try some of the 'Wise' products? I see them all the time and generally at decent prices.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Backpacker’s Pantry Chicken with Gravy, Dressing and Potatoes

    Backpacker’s Pantry Chicken with Gravy, Dressing and Potatoes


    The following product review is for the Backpacker’s Pantry brand of Chicken with Gravy, Dressing and Potatoes.

    I had the opportunity to try this product, preparing it in various ways, and as might be expected, with varying results.

    The unit as provided for the test is a standard #10 can, with a Best Before date of 04/30/39 (April 30, 2039). Knowing that this manufacturer states a 25-year shelf life for their #10 cans of long term storage (LTS) foods this would mean a manufacturing date of April 2014.

    The can itself was vacuum-sealed, and American Outdoor Products (the manufacturer) says they nitrogen flush their #10 can-packed products before adding a large oxygen absorber. There is of course a plastic lid included for resealing the can after first opening it. This process is equal to that of any of the reputable LTS food companies. No shortcuts there.

    The test team for this product consisted of a pair of Boy Scouts and 2 adults. The setting was their regular meeting area, and a gas range was used to boil the water used to reconstitute the food. It is hoped that in the future a larger group in an outdoor setting will be able to test the products to get a better opinion count.

    One mistake made at the outset was failing to mix the contents of the can before portioning. The result was a very bland bowl of product with some of the seasonings and heavier ingredients missing. No one could eat more than one bite without adding seasoning in the form of salt and pepper. That improved the taste somewhat to adult standards, but neither Scout would try another bite.

    A second bowl was prepared after mixing the ingredients, and the results differed in both appearance and taste. It was also mixed by guesstimating the amount of product and boiling water. The result was a thicker bowl of food that had a more appetizing appearance, and lo and behold it tasted better, too!

    One boy could not be enticed to try the second sample but the other youth did, and had several spoonfuls. His final appraisal was that it would be suitable as a storage food product but would not rate it as a favorite. All agreed that the product would benefit from more chicken and added seasoning. Pepper was the seasoning of choice mentioned.

    The following day I mixed two more bowls for sampling. One was exactly as per directions, and the other had the water reduced by 20% (1 cup instead of 1-1/4 cups). Again the result was a thicker product with a heartier appearance. Other than appearance and texture the taste was identical for both samplings, having made sure the contents of the can were well mixed before reconstituting.

    The lovely bride keeps to a low-carb diet as a matter of lifestyle for medical reasons. To that end this product is not well suited, with a carb-to-protein ratio of nearly 3:1 (35 carbs to 12 grams of protein per 1 cup serving). In her defense she does not care much for the taste of dehydrated potato flakes, which constitute a large portion of this product.

    To my personal taste this product is fairly palatable if not more than a bit salty. Bear in mind it was originally designed as a backpacking food product, and increased levels of sodium are a necessity for such activity. The higher carb content would also benefit people faced with cold climates where the body requires added carbs to produce heat.

    Backpacker’s Pantry products are generally regarded as high-end when it comes to backpacking foods. They are formulated more for outdoor activity nutrition rather than daily use like some LTS food products. I personally would not turn up my nose at this particular product but I would plan on adding more meat by way of stand-alone freeze dried chicken to make it both more palatable and to increase the protein content. It would make an acceptable alternative to the usual pasta-based products offered by many companies, recognizing the limitations outlined here, and recognizing that individual tastes play a large role in the acceptability of any given LTS food product by the end consumer.

    The initial impression by both myself and others was anything less than stellar, but once the easy mistake of failing to remix the can’s contents was realized and corrected it proved to be more palatable. I will personally plan on including a supply of this food product in my pantry with the idea of supplementing it with other additions to create a more desirable dish. As a stand-alone item it is acceptable, but it can be improved on.

    I have a strong suspicion that once firmly set (cooled) the mix may fry up well as a tasty fried potato patty-type of dish such as some do with leftover mashed potatoes. I would personally rather have this before me than many a dehydrated meal product that relies on TVP for the protein content. I am giving it a 3 hemostat (star) rating for the aforementioned reasons.


    RR

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Mountain House Freeze Dried Diced Apples

    Mountain House Freeze-Dried Diced Apples


    Here is a real-life taste test report for the Mountain House brand of freeze dried diced apples.

    I happened to have a #2-1/2 size can of Mountain House Freeze Dried Diced Apples sitting around the house that were originally purchased in 1997. I do not know if Mountain House even offers that size can any longer but for purposes of conducting a taste test it served well.

    The test subjects were a small gathering of Boy Scouts along with a couple of adults.

    The samples were divided into straight-out-of-the-can, and rehydrated. The latter was done to test the suitability of the product for making items such as apple pie or cobbler (the latter is a Scout favorite, and hopefully we’ll get a chance to lay hands on a #10 can in the future to try them prepared in that fashion, i.e. reconstituted and baked into a cobbler over an open campfire).

    The storage conditions for this particular container would certainly not meet manufacturer’s recommendations for long storage life. It has spend several summers stored in a garage in western Arizona, where temps inside the structure can easily reach sustained temps of 130 degrees during the day with lows hovering above 100 degrees at night. In all the can has survived 17 years of various storage conditions since manufacture. It has moved from its original point of purchase in California to Iowa, to Missouri, and then to western Arizona. Even then there was surprisingly little dust. The pieces retained their size and shape very well indeed.

    To reconstitute the portion selected for same the instructions were followed to use cold water. Not content with only room temperature cold we used bottled water from a refrigerator kept at 33 degrees Fahrenheit. It did not seem to affect the rehydration in the slightest. What resulted were slices of varying sizes ranging from 3/8’s inch sized pieces to 1-1/2 long full slices that looked like they had been scooped out of a can of apple pie filling.

    The reconstituted pieces were slightly firm in a good way. They were not chewy, still held to a very slight crunchiness, and as mentioned above looked like they would be very suitable for cobbler making.

    The dried pieces straight out of the can were eagerly snatched up and munched on as well. The boys munched on the bowl until it was gone. They are reasonably sweet, such as apples are bound to be, crunchy, and just plain delicious. They had not suffered color change due to the prolonged heat exposure and I could detect no change in flavor from what I remember of my experiences with them over the years.

    I have to give this product a rating of 5 hemostats. A future experiment in creating apple cobbler with the product is expected.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Re: Reviews of Long-Term Storage Foods

    Clarified Butter/Ghee

    Another product we have begun storing is clarified butter, also known as 'ghee.' Basically, ghee is butter that has had the water removed after heating. It represents a form of long-term storable fats that don't have to be rotated every other year as would be the case with almost all other fats, including tinned olive oil.

    If you have ever visited a dinner buffet that included crab legs then you most likely noticed the 'melted butter' they had to dip the succulent meat into. This is actually clarified butter, or ghee. Ahhh, so! A light comes on.

    Yes, you have probably already tried ghee in the past.

    World Grocer is a brand of canned ghee sold on the prep foods market. It is differentiated from similar products only in the fact that it is packaged for long-term storage rather than use in the near future. IOW it is canned rather than bottled or jarred.

    Our first experience was with the 16 oz. cans of the product. It is now being sold in 24 oz. cans, which may be a better size for the intended use. Both product statements and our own experience indicate that even after opening the product remains viable for weeks without refrigeration, merely covered with a plastic lid and sitting on the counter ready to use.

    We have fried with it, using it as the fat in place of regular cooking oil. We have buttered bread and toast with it. And we have used it with a family favorite - baked chicken breasts smothered with butter, cheese and mushrooms, using it of course in place of the regular butter.

    We use real butter in our household rather than margarine, and have found that incorporating ghee into our diet works well and almost seamlessly.

    In the future it will be acquired in quantity with the certain knowledge that there will be no hesitation to use it as we would any liquid fat.

    RR

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasonable Rascal
    replied
    Re: Reviews of Long-Term Storage Foods

    Freeze-Dried Beef Patties, Uncooked

    Here's the latest taste test based on our latest acquisition.

    I do not have a brand name for the product because it is offered under a generic label, distributed by (or at least manufactured for) Crescent Commissary Supplies, which is the Defense Dept's lead agency for stocking US military commissaries worldwide. While I cannot confirm it the rumor is the product offered is overrun from a 2014 production to fulfill a Continuity of Government contract for atypical long-term storage foods for large shelters (think Mount Weather, etc) tasked with housing and feeding members of the government tabbed to be sheltered in the event of a large scale disaster (nuclear war, anyone?). IOW this is not a product typically offered by the usual storage food companies. Beef dices and ground beef, yes. But something that can be made into Swiss steaks or hamburgers? Keep looking because the usual suspects don't offer them.

    The price is not exactly enticing, equivalent to $10/lb for fresh hamburger. IOW close to 3 x the normal price for fresh. But we aren't interested in day-to-day use here, but rather in putting away for the proverbial rainy day.

    They were soaked for approx 30 minutes before frying them. The patties are virtually identical to the pre-formed ones you find in the grocery store, ready to throw on the grill.

    The taste was good, equal to grocery store patties, and the texture was only mildly firm, certainly cutable with a standard dinner form, no knife. A person without teeth would have no problem gumming these up before swallowing.

    They come approx 15-16 to a #10 can, packed for long-term storage. 6 cans to a case.

    Now that we have confirmed they are palatable and fulfill a nitch for us we will be watching for future offerings.

    RR

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X