Yes, you can leave the stove at home and still enjoy a freeze dried pasta dinner! Backpackers Pantry (BP) introduces their new line of cold rehydrateable meals. Just add cold water and wait 30 minutes. Their first cold hydrate meal is “Cold Pasta Salad with Vegetables.”
Backpackers Pantry “Cold Pasta Salad with Vegetables” rehydrates in 30 minutes with cold water. Backpackers Pantry also introduces new flavors on their standard FD (regular hydrate) line. “Paella with Saffron Rice & Chicken” was my favorite.
I see another advantage to cold rehydrate meals – they may actually hydrate with warm water. Let’s face it, standard freeze dried (FD) meals don’t exactly rehydrate the way most of us cook them – adding boiling water to the packet and letting it stand. Even after 15 minutes the pasta or rice is still on the chewy end of the spectrum. According to Backpackers Pantry the cold rehydrate meals will adequately rehydrate with warm water and be at a more chewable consistency in shorter time than standard FD meals. This would still be a fuel savings and maybe, just maybe we’d get al dente pasta – not “al crunchy.”
BP wouldn’t give us their secret to making rotini cold hydrateable meals but they did tell us that using dehydrated rather than freeze dried vegetables helps the meal. They are also working on cold rehydrate rice dishes as well. Hopefully we’ll see a full line of cold rehydrate meals from BP.
Also note that Backpackers Pantry has come out with some new flavors on their FD (regular hydrate) line, “Paella with Saffron Rice & Chicken” was my favorite but “Sweet and Sour Chicken” was quite good. Campfood, another BP line, introduces a Turkey Stroganoff.
When asked how they could afford the saffron, BP replied that they have their own spice company. Maybe that’s why their meals taste so good. There certainly is a generous amount of saffron in the paella.