Paramo, the Laser Competition and Terrocs, what do they have in common? They were “game changers”. Paramo changed the way we thought about waterproofs, even if not everyone liked them. The Laser Competition shifted the goal posts for single man tents. Inov-8 challenged our concept of appropriate footwear. Along comes Fuizion Food and transforms the quality benchmark for freeze-dried food. Yes, it’s that good.
In my youth, there was no such thing as reconstituting food with boiling water in a pouch. The nearest thing was Vesta meals, which had to be boiled in the pan. When I started backpacking again a few years ago, freeze-dried pouch meals had displaced more conventional food for the weight conscious backpacker.
Being a curious soul, I investigated several types. Be-Well and Expeditions Foods got an enormous thumbs down from me. They were a “substance” rather than food. They had an unpleasant taste and induced extreme flatulence.
Mountain House and Adventure Food were acceptable but still some way short of being “real” food. Real Turmat was head and shoulders better than any other brand. Sure it was expensive, but it tasted like real food. The end result was still an indeterminate gloop, but it tasted good and was filling.
The new kid on the block, Fuizion Food, changes all that. This is real food. The taste is superb, not suffering from an excessive saltiness (which is a drawback to Real Turmat). Instead of a thick soup, you get real pieces of food. The meat is like real meat. In particular, the chicken is identifiable as real chicken. The vegetables have real structure rather than being a mush. Impressively, the potato cubes are cubes rather than a mash.
This would be no good if the flavour was lacking. However, the flavour is excellent. I had four meals: Savoury Minced Beef, Savoury Minced Lamb, Coq au Vin with Rice and Chicken and Bacon Pasta. I enjoyed them all. The minced lamb was probably my favourite.
Preparation was no different to other freeze-dried meals, just add boiling water. The instructions indicated 310ml, but I added more like 350ml. This was only excessive for the Chicken and Bacon Pasta, where I ended up with some extra sauce (no hardship!). Ironically, the only “crunchy” piece of underhydrated food was a piece of bacon.
If I had to criticise, the packages are the wrong shape. They are too thin and tall. After hydration, I cut the top portion of the packet off to make it easier to get to the contents. I also think the portions could be a bit larger. They are a bit light on bulk and could have more pasta/potato/rice to fill them out a bit.
Fuizion Food has now caused a problem for me. I have about ten unused Real Turmat meals. Having tasted gourmet meals on the hills, I’m not sure I can go back to Real Turmat, which is a huge change for me. However, they keep for a long time and I’ll sneak one in every so often. I guarantee you that once you’ve tasted Fuizion Food, you’ll be reluctant to go back to the gloop we used to call food.
Top to bottom: Coq au Vin with Rice (left: dehydrated, right: reconstituted), Savoury Minced Beef, Chicken and Bacon Pasta