Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: Back Country Cuisine - Cooked Breakfast

Here is the fourth and final chapter in my "instant meals" pieces that I've been covering. The first was the Outdoor Gourmet Butter Chicken, which was delicious, the Back Country Cuisine Roast Chicken which was passable, the Outdoor Gourmet Tandoori Chicken, which was also delicious and now the last entry of the four I had collected to sample, the Back Country Cuisine Cooked Breakfast.

Billed as a "satisfying beef bacon, scrambled egg in a hash brown potato mix served with baked beans" I wanted to have non-dinner one to try, to give a range of meal options in my mix, so it seemed like a simple enough addition.

As with the other three meals, the Cooked Breakfast consisted of a full meal, freeze-dried to preserve them, and make for a light-weight, portable and stable foodstuff. In the freeze drying process, crystals of frozen ice in the food are sublimed (evaporated) to water vapour in a vacuum chamber.

This produces a completely dry food that allows water to quickly get into the pores left by the ice crystals to give a juicy, tender food product when reconstituted. After packing, the Back Country Cuisine meals are heat-sealed in their foil pouches from which all the air has been removed and replaced with nitrogen. This keeps the food safe and "fresh" for at least three years without the need for preservatives.

The Cooked Breakfast meal weighs 90g dry, and requires 250mL of hot water, and comes with a second retort within the main pouch, which contains the haricot baked beans component of the meal. Once cooked, this is a 340g (12oz) meal, and again, it is quite possible to eat the whole meal in the bottom half of the retort, which comes with a "tear-here" notch for ease of use, to change it from a cook-pot into a bowl. Splitting the boiling water between the main component, and the beans, re-sealing and waiting for 10 minutes to reconstitute produces the meal.

Nutritionally, the meal provides 1702kJ (408Cal) as a unit, which breaks down to 501kJ (120Cal) per 100g, and equates to 20% or the recommended daily allowance.

However. This is probably the worst instant meal I have ever tasted. The egg was simultaneously stiff and spongy, and tasteless like foam. The bacon beef was not even TVP standard, the hashbrown mix was mush and the beans. The beans. The tasteless, white, sauceless beans didn't rehydrate, and were still hard and dry in the retort, and didn't further reconstitute with additional water.

This is one of my rare negative reviews. This was terrible. Not only that, but I became very ill shortly after eating it, and I had to go home from work following eating it early in the afternoon. I was sick for a couple of days. It wasn't even tasty. Sure, it might not have been the BCC Cooked Breakfast, but I'll not be having another one. So, 2:2, the OGC meals were 2/2 delicious, the BCC meals were one passable, one awful and sick-making. Certainly not what I would have wanted if I had been out bush, or living in the Bunker.

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