I bought four or five different ones and on Saturday I just grabbed the one off the top of the bag. It turned out to be Kung Po Chicken with Noodles. I had high hopes that Fuizion Foods would be a cut above the usual freeze dried mush that you get in most camping meals.
The meals come in a silver pouch with instructions for rehydration in English and French.
|The Fuizion Food packaging|
When you open up the package I have to admit that the dried contents don't look very appetising but don't let that put you off. I had measured the 310ml out before I went out and I knew that it was up to about 1cm from the top of my insulated camping mug so it was pretty easy to measure out and boil in the jetboil.
I added the boiling water to the pouch and gave it a good stir with my spork. You do need quite a long implement for this as the packaging is quite deep but more of that later. I then sealed it up or so I thought. When I went to wrap it in my scarf to keep it warm, I managed to squeeze some of the sauce out and all down my leg. Luckily I had my thick lined trousers on so no damage done.
10 minutes later I had made the coffee and opened the pouch up to see what had developed.
The pouch gets quite warm so would be great to keep your hands warm on a chilly day but not so warm that it can't be handled comfortably. The pouch material also softens quite a bit but it stays rigid enough to hold without it collapsing or wobbling.
The first thing to say is that it smelled great - just like a takeaway so that can't be half bad. The second thing to say is that the packaging is a bit of a pain. It's quite deep and so it's difficult to get at your food. I solved this problem by cutting the top off the pouch with my penknife (or rather Roy did it - I'm not to be trusted with the penknife since I sliced open my finger quite badly halfway up a mountain in Olympic National Park)
After that it was very easy to eat and really really good. It had texture, real taste and great big chunks of chicken that actually tasted like chicken and had the texture of chicken. The vegetables were actually crunchy - how do they do that??? and there was plenty of it. You could even recognise the individual vegetables - mange tout, carrots, baby sweetcorn (although I can do without the baby sweetcorn - it's the product of a twisted mind) We shared it for lunch but for me it would be a good portion for an evening meal after a days walking.
Apparently, the difference between Fuizion Foods and other manufacturers is that they freeze dry all of the ingredients individually and then mix them together ready to be rehydrated. Others make up the meal and then dry it and then break it up into chunks - hence the mush texture and lack of recognisable ingredients. I have now been corrected by Alison from Fuizion foods and I have got it totally wrong! They do in fact make the meal up and then freeze dry it - see comments below. Whatever they do - they do it well and I stand corrected.
Overall we were really impressed with our first Fuizion meal. I understand that they are proposing changes to the packaging to make it shallower and wider which would make it just about perfect. As for price - it's not cheap when you compare it to other camping foods but in this case you really do get what you pay for and if it gives you something to look forward to at the end of a long walk then it's worth every penny. I'll be trying out the other varieties soon so we'll see if they match up to the Kung Po chicken.