Jan 20, 2013 at 10:31 am #1298227
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I have been eating primarily Pack-It Gourmet the past few years because I found it superior in taste to Mountain House or Backpackers Pantry. Alpine Aire was recently recommended to me and was curious if anyone else had tried them and what your thoughts are. How do they compare to other brands?Jan 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm #1945559
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
They were always better than MH but are they phenomenal? Not really. But neither are they horrid.Feb 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm #1953805
@idahobackpackerLocale: Northwest U.S.
I have tried several dehydrated meals, and I really like Alpine Aire. They are definitely better than Mountain House or Backpacker's Pantry.
My favorite brand is Natural High. They taste great for freeze dried meals, and they have about half the sodium as MH or BP meals.
Alpine Aire and Natural High are both made by the same company, Richmoor foods.Feb 13, 2013 at 5:14 am #1953846
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Thanks!Feb 13, 2013 at 6:14 am #1953862
Welll…I haven't tried AlpineAire in years because it used to be the "worst of 'em", largely due to the use of hip ingredients like whole wheat pasta that had a strong, nasty flavor or other such things. Whenever I see it in the store, I still shudder and move away, even though I'm generally always hunting for different options. Heck, I have a few bags of 25-year old AlpineAire that I use as "display models" only — a perfect alternative to eating that stuff?Feb 13, 2013 at 7:57 am #1953890
"Hunger is the best sauce"
YMMV, but I prefer Alpine Aire's "Gourmet Reserve" foods to MH.
I have found all of the following to be palatable, even tasty, depending on how tired/hungry I am. A bit too much flavoring powder, which can be removed when repackaging, but otherwise OK:
Black Bart Chili w/Beans
Brown Rice w/Chicken
Hawaiian Style Chicken Teriyaki
Kung Fu Chicken
Pineapple Orange Chicken
Santa Fe Black Beans w/Rice
Teriyaki TurkeyFeb 13, 2013 at 8:44 am #1953908
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Availability is often a factor in which brand of FD food you can get. Yes, you can order from the internet, but I like to see what I'm buying. Alpine aire is difficult to find around me; REI carries a very small and limited AA inventory.
In the months prior to – or shortly after – hiking season, I search the stores for "new additions" to the currents brands' offerings. If something sounds good, I'll buy ONE of each to try at home. We will set up a tasting panel in the kitchen and try several items at once. We are prepared to supplement items with various spices, chopped onion, pepper, etc. – things that can be carried in bulk on a hike and added as needed to certain meals. We have learned that most manufacturers overstate the amount of water needed to rehydrate (apparently some folks don't bother to stir well when adding water), so always start out with 2 ounces less than called for. We'll adjust from there. Rarely have we had paste or soup that way.
Once the winners (if any) are determined, their names (and any additions and water changes deemed beneficial) are added to our "good to go" list and stored with our hiking gear. Anything we deemed acceptable is eaten for that day's lunch; everything else is fed to the disposal.
The only thing worse than getting on the trail and discovering that the new dinner entree that looked so nice in the store turns out to be dehydrated molten lava is to realize that you have two more of these in your food bag and it's six days until resupply.
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