Subject Tested: Very good To-Go Meals, A Light-weight Climbing Food stuff

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Principles

Great To-Go’s dehydrated meals are flavorful, light-weight, and nourishing, with effortless-to-pronounce substances. All of their meals are gluten-free and are generally vegan and vegetarian. The foods have a most 5-calendar year lifespan, are packaged in a tough plastic bag, and involve boiling h2o to get ready.

Pros

No preservatives // Actual, recognizable components // Resilient packaging // Dehydrating food is considerably less power intensive than freeze-drying // Tasty

Packaging is not recyclable // Reasonably brief shelf life—5 a long time in comparison to ~25 for freeze-dried foodstuff // Slower to rehydrate and marginally heavier than freeze-dried foods

Our Ideas

Good To-Go is a worthy alternative for right away climbers and campers who want to take in serious foods with a finite lifespan. The company’s celebrated chefs are on exhibit at each individual meal, with choices ranging from spicy Korean bibimbap to hearty Mexican quinoa bowls, giving 13 diverse entrées that accommodate a array of ethnicities, style preferences, and nutritional restrictions.

When I very first began looking at up on “backpacking foods,” as a minimum-wage-earning large-college graduate, my right away alpine food was little distinctive from what I ate at property: pre-seasoned rice, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans. The inexpensive foods match my inexpensive lifestyle, my impatience for cooking, and, most importantly, my utter indifference to nutrition. This “diet”—if this kind of a expression can be made use of here—served me perfectly for the initially numerous decades of my alpine-climbing existence: I’d slam as substantially processed foodstuff as my spending plan would permit, climb a prolonged 5.7-or-so ridge, and drink Alberta Premium back at the motor vehicle. 

As time went on, having said that, I started to want additional output from my entire body. And my system, in turn, needed more from me. It required greens. And protein. And a lighter backpack that did not maintain a glass jar of tomato sauce and tin cans of baked beans. (There was a summer months when I subsisted almost totally on expired military rations, lightening my pack and conserving money, but my digestive procedure is however recovering from that a single.)

These days, getting realized the relevance of nourishment and restoration, I have been reaching for Great To-Go’s foods for overnight journeys the place I need to have lightweight, healthy food stuff that I look forward to ingesting. Sorry, Spam, we have been sure to develop apart.

Great-To-Go granola is great for on-the-go wholesome foods. (Picture: Superior-To-Go)

Excellent To-Go is headed up by Jennifer Scism, a skilled chef of 20-as well as several years, graduate of Manhattan’s French Culinary Institute, and, in 2005, winner of the Tv Food items Network’s Iron Chef program. Scism and I exist at reverse ends of the culinary spectrum (or did at a single time) but I can wholly take pleasure in the work her crew puts into these dehydrated foods. Every of the five foods I ate—bibimbap, mushroom risotto, quinoa bowl, oatmeal, and granola—were thoughtfully flavored, nutrient dense, and preservative free of charge. (The most tough-to-pronounce ingredient was quinoa!) 

Good To-Go’s meals are handmade in tiny batches in Kittery, Maine, in which they’ve opted to dehydrate their meals instead of freeze drying them like most huge-identify brands (Backpacker’s Pantry, Alpine Aire, Mountain Dwelling, and so on.). The primary benefit of this: dehydrating food stuff necessitates significantly less energy than freeze drying it, creating for a lower carbon effect. The main counterpoint to this debate is that dehydrating food items sucks out its nutrients—and it’s a deserving concern, far too. Nonetheless, Excellent To-Go provides all of their meals to 165 ° F for several carefully measured seconds, to guarantee shelf steadiness, with no reducing dietary benefit.

Style

In advance of Superior To-Go, I have hardly ever at the time acquired freeze-dried or dehydrated food for the flavor. I have lived the excellent lifestyle, keep in mind? Expired ravioli in an “impact-proof” military baggie, electrolyte beverages lovingly named “orange beverage,” the rare on-model Pop-Tart.… But now? I am really fired up to tuck in for supper. The mushroom risotto, effectively-well balanced with basil, walnuts, and white wine, was a satisfying finish to a full day of steep quartzite activity climbing. The up coming working day began with a hearty oatmeal (standout flavors bundled Zante currants, pumpkin seeds, banana flakes, and cinnamon) and finished with the bibimbap: a spicy still sweet blended rice dish with sesame, Gochugaru (a Korean purple chile pepper), shiitake mushrooms, and brown sugar. Without a doubt, I went to sleep that evening a happy camper.

Closing Views

When browsing for your future lightweight backcountry meal, there are a couple downsides to dehydrated foodstuff to continue to keep in mind—namely, they are a little slower to rehydrate than freeze-dried foods. (The typical entrée took about 20 minutes to entirely cook, in contrast to the 10–15 minutes of many freeze-dried manufacturers.) Whilst cooking Superior To-Go, I identified that the drinking water had to be boiling ahead of dumping it into the pouch—not a moment sooner—for that cooking time to ring correct.

Dehydrated foodstuff also have a shorter shelf lifetime than freeze-dried options—some freeze-dried makes boast a 25-year lifespan!—while Superior To-Go maxes out at five. This may not be critical for most climbers (just go searching each and every 5 yrs?) and Good To-Go thinks this to be a moreover. As their web page suggests, “We do not use preservatives in our foods. We think firmly that serious food items can’t and really should not endure ‘til the stop of time!” I have a tendency to concur.


Originally printed in Climbing Magazine