A few years ago, there was a relatively limited choice of freeze dried food on the market, but recently the choice of available brands has expanded considerably. New to me is LYO Expedition food. Base Camp Food offered me some samples a few months ago. I decided not to try them until I was on a trip. My recent trip to the Lakes provided a suitable opportunity.
I was sent Penne Bolognese (the 99g pack) and Pork Loin in Dill Sauce (77g). As these are both quite small portions, I ate both on my wild camp night at Rigg Beck. Both are easy to prepare. Tear off the top, remove the anti-oxidant sachet, pour the appropriate amount of boiling water, wait for 10 minutes and eat.
So what were they like? The Penne Bolognese was very good. It rehydrated properly. The Bolognese sauce was tasty and piquant. Although the meat pieces were small, they were recognisable as meat. The pasta wasn’t quite al dente but wasn’t soggy either. All in all it was a hit by me. My only criticism is the size was too small and low on calories for a main meal. However, there is a larger size available. I’d recommend getting the 128g pack, which has 507kcal.
On to the Pork Loin in Dill Sauce. I rehydrated for the specified 10 minutes, but it could have done with a bit longer as the pork pieces were occasionally slightly crunchy. Nonetheless, they were real pieces of meat. The potato and vegetables were a bit gloopy, but that’s par for the course with rehydrated potato. Taste was pretty good. It had a reasonably subtle combination of flavours and wasn’t overwhelmed by dill, which can happen.
At 77g and only 300kcal, it’s too small for a main meal. Even the larger 104g size provides only 405kcal. In my opinion that’s not really adequate after a hard day. 500-600kcal is more what I aim for. By way of comparison, most Fuizion Food meals provide 500-600kcal for a dry weight of around 110g.
The disparity between Fuizion and LYO seems to be that LYO provides a lower fat content in most meals. In everyday life, this might be a “good” thing, but out on the hills, you want a bit of fat. So my main criticism is that LYO food doesn’t provide quite as much calories as I’d like for their weight.
I certainly wouldn’t use the small sized meals. Not only are they low in calories, but the sachet is the wrong shape, being tall and thin. I had to cut the top section off to get at the food.
I think the taste and consistency is not quite as good as the best Fuizion Food meals, but it is better than Real Turmat, which tends to be a bit salty and Trek’n Eat which can be a bit bland. LYO is certainly better than other brands I’ve tried like Mountain House. So overall, I’d place them as a worthy second to Fuizion Foods. If they could increase the calorific content, I’d be more enthusiastic.
If you are happy to supplement the calorific content or want low fat meals, LYO is definitely worth trying. The Penne Bolognese and the Stroganoff (which I didn’t try) are both reasonable for their weight/calorie trade offs. Many thanks to Base Camp Food for providing the samples.
Disclosure: Base Camp Food provided me with these LYO Expedition samples free of charge. I have no formal or financial relationship with Base Camp Food or LYO.