Here are some reviews relating to various stage racing food selections. Some have been used under race conditions an others just taste tested. As with any culinary opinions, all is subjective. Most plating scores are withheld. If you have your own views please comment. Some selections may no longer be available. Additional reviews will be filled in or added when available.
As a side note it would be to your benefit to bring along salt/pepper/favorite spice blends/bouillon cubes to help some of these dishes out. Small fast food packets are advisable. A little bit of sugar would also be wise if you have a sweet coffee tooth.
COFFEE: For those who require a caffeine fix, instant coffee is in order. Starbucks Vias are the go to selection. These come in various blends and roasts and make the morning glorious. Drinking coffee (and tea for that matter) black is much more convenient.
TEA: For the other half of the world, you know what you like.
Electrolyete Tablets: These make a sweet hot beverage when you are cold.
MOUNTAIN HOUSE: Old school USA freeze dried meal provider.
MOUNTAIN HOUSE EGGS AND BACON: 2.25 oz/315 kcals. This meal was quite disappointing. Besides calling for 8oz of water of which you eventually pour out 4-6oz, the eggs had the consistency of foam rubber and about as much taste. Bacon consisted of a sprinkling of bacon bits. This one will most likely not make the cut. I give this a score of 2 out of 5.
MOUNTAIN HOUSE BREAKFAST SKILLET: 4.7 oz/800 kcals. A hash browns, eggs, sausage pepper and onions blend. Good eggs for the most part especially if you add green chile. I guess my somewhat negative bias comes from raising chickens and always having fresh eggs. 3.8/5.0
EXPEDITION FOODS: The familiar orange bag freeze dried meals. These come in the traditional 800 kcal servings and now extreme 1,000 kcal servings for some.
EXPEDITION FOODS SCRAMBLED EGGS, POTATOES AND MIXED PEPPERS: 6.25 oz/828 kcals. Much better than the Mountain House offering and quite filling. Lots of potatoes and peppers while very light on the eggs. These exist as somewhat of a coating on the potatoes. This took quite a long time to re-hydrate properly (at least 30 minutes). While there is over 1.2g of sodium per package, additional salt and pepper help this out a lot. Great candidate for some New Mexico green chile! This receives a score of 3 out of 5.
EXPEDITION FOODS CUSTARD WITH APPLES: 3.2 oz/450 kcals. This is billed as a dessert item but any dessert is good enough for breakfast. This item re-hydrates quickly and is very tasty. It is almost too buttery for my liking but if you enjoy it slowly with a cup of coffee it is great. Nice as an easy post long stage offering before you pass out. This scores 4+ out of 5.
EXPEDITION FOODS BEEF AND POTATO HOTPOT: 6 oz/801 kcals. Generally a good entree however not very visually appealing, so this one is good when it is dark. Could benefit from the additional of spices of your choice. Scores 3.5 out of 5.0.
EXPEDITION FOODS ASIAN NOODLES WITH BEEF AND MIXED VEGETABLES: 6 oz/805 kcals. This was a very good meal. Re-hydration was fast and there was just the right amount of flavor with a little spicy after kick. This one scores 4.3 out of 5.0
EXPEDITION FOODS ASIAN NOODLES WITH CHICKEN AND MIXED VEGETABLES: 6 oz/805 kcals. Basically same as the beef offering. This one also scores 4.3 out of 5.0
EXPEDITION FOODS CHICKEN TIKKA WITH RICE: 4.9 oz/809 kcals. This one is a go to entree. Quite palatable and not too spicy. A strong 4+ out of 5.0
Expedition Foods Shepard’s Pie:
Expedition Foods Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice:
BACKPACKERS PANTRY: This purveyor of freeze dried food has some very good selections. Check them out for some very nice alternatives.
BACKPACKERS PANTRY SANTA FE RICE AND CHICKEN: 7.2 oz/760 kcals. This was GOOD. Since I live 30 miles from Santa Fe I have to say this meal has a much more of a “local flavor” than the Expedition Foods and others from over the pond. Even has New Mexico green chile. Weighs a little more and has slightly less calories but the taste more than makes up for that. A 4.5 out of 5.0
BACKPACKERS PANTRY GRANOLA WITH MILK AND ORGANIC BLUEBERRIES: 4.7 oz/62o kcals. A nice solid break from porridge. 4.0 out of 5.0
BACKPACKERS PANTRY CREME BRULEE: 4.6 oz/54o kcals. Nice desert or post long stage recovery. 4.2 out of 5.0
BACKPACKERS PANTRY DARK CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE: 4.5 oz/540 kcals.
BACKPACKERS PANTRY ASTRONAUT ICE CREAM: 0.7 oz/110 kcals. OK, this sounds weird but give it a try. The product is in a form of a chalky solid but re-hydrates in your mouth. A nice little sweet treat. 3.8 out of 5.0
EXTREME ADVENTURE FOODS: The main UK competitor to Expedition Foods. Slightly more calories and about the same weight. The offerings are similar to Expedition Foods.
EXTREME ADVENTURE FOOD PORRIDGE WITH SULTANS: 5.6 oz/800 kcals. Not many sultans, typical wallpaper paste. Add extra water to get it down. 3.2 out of 5.0
EXTREME ADVENTURE FOOD PORRIDGE WITH MAPLE SYRUP: 5.6 oz/800 kcals. This was fairly good and nice and sweet. Consistency was typical but with a little extra water it was OK. 3.8 out of 5.0
EXTREME ADVENTURE FOOD MOROCCO CHICKEN COUSCOUS: 7.0 oz/1000 kcals. I really enjoyed this. On its own it is good, if you spice it up some it is even better. Green chile powder or Moroccan spices go well. 4.6 out of 5.0
EXTREME ADVENTURE FOOD BEEF SHEPARDS PIE: 7.0 oz/1000 kcals. I was very skeptical of this one at first having envisioned a mass of tasteless mush. I was mistaken. This meal while mushy was quite tasty. Basic salt and pepper bring it up a notch but as you can tell I do like my spices. 4.0 out of 5.0
EXTREME ADVENTURE FOOD SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE: 7.0 oz/1000 kcals. You really can not mess this one up. The only way to make it better would be with a couple of slices of garlic bread. 4.1 out of 5.0
EXTREME ADVENTURE FOOD THAI CHICKEN WITH RICE: 7.0 oz/1000 kcals. If you are a Thai food lover this will disappoint. Lots of rice and not much chicken (needs more protein). On the hotness scale it is <1. Bring along some spices to liven this up. 4.0 out of 5.0
EXTREME ADVENTURE STRAWBERRIES RICE PUDDING: 4.4 oz/498 kcals. Considered a dessert it is still great for breakfast. 4.2 out of 5.0
ALPINE AIRE SOUTHWESTERN STYLE BEEF NACHOS: 6.8 oz/ 780 kcals. I was skeptical of this offering at first. Freeze dried nachos? Add water to re-hydrate tortilla chips? But it sounded interesting. It works, sort of. You have to consume this quickly or the chips do become soggy. This meal also has a significant amount of protein (36 grams). Almost a 4 out of 5.
MEAT PRODUCTS: No, I am not talking SPAM here although that is an interesting option. What I am lumping into this category are things like jerky, meat bars and meet sticks. Of course these are high in protein and some high in fat calories.
EPIC BARS: Animal based protein bars. Many exotic flavors.
SLIM JIMS: A meat product stick that comes in assorted flavors and sizes. Lots of fat. Travels well. The smaller sized ones are convenient.
JERKY: Or for you Brits, biltong. Dried meat, lots of protein but due to its preparation (very little fat) there are not as many calories. Nice to snack on and there is a flavor for everyone (except the vegetarians).
OTHER ODDITIES: The catch all section for everything else.
MOON CHEESE: 2.0 oz/ 315 kcals. Yep, freeze dried cheese. Nope, not a nice brie or raclette. Comes in gouda, cheddar and pepper jack. A nice snack. 3.7 out of 5.