A couple several years ago, any individual stashed a couple luggage of Good To-Go meals in my backpack at Outside Retailer. As a devoted consumer of dehydrated backpacker meals, so devoted in point I will at times take in them at residence, with a whole kitchen area at my disposal just for the reason that I appreciate them, I was intrigued. The Thai Curry was outstanding. Kale and White Bean Stew — surprisingly vibrant and delicious. The backstory to Good To-Go was also appealing. The founder, Jennifer Scism, was a NYC-darling chef/restauranteur who as soon as defeated Mario Batali on the Food items Network’s Iron Chef, moved to rural Maine, fell in appreciate with backpacking, and made a decision she’d abandon the restaurant scene for the backpacker meal globe of superior sodium and lengthy shelf-life. It just cannot be effortless to move from refreshing substances served at their peak to scheduling recipes that will be cooked then dehydrated and saved for who understands how very long.
We talked about what basically goes into more healthy dehydrated meals and how a single goes from slinging plates to stocking hiker’s shelves.
AJ: What do the present large backpacker meal models (Backpacker’s Pantry, Mountain Home, and so on) get right about dehydrated meals?
To be clear, at Great To-Go, we cook dinner and then dehydrate our foods and the corporations you outlined generally use freeze-dried elements and may well or might not prepare dinner the meal before packaging. The two processes create diverse outcomes. Both companies have been about for a extensive time, have excellent brand name recognition and wide solution traces.
What prompted you to try to fill the void with more healthy, fantastic meals dehydrated meals?
Before starting up Excellent To-Go, I had been working as a chef for 20 many years and developed my own special recipes. I had no concept why meals companies made use of fillers and additives, the only preservative I made use of was kosher or sea salt. I tried out the other brand names, but wanted cleanse ingredients and full foodstuff. Also, I needed my tried out and legitimate comfort food items recipes. I cooked and dehydrated my home made favorites Thai curry, mushroom risotto, marinara with pasta, and applied these for our tenting journeys. We shared my foods with fellow hikers and had been urged to get started selling them. After a year of analysis and model enhancement, Fantastic To-Go was born.
Did your earlier as a chef suggest you had connections in provide that would support, or other strengths coming from a foodservice qualifications when making an attempt to produce more healthy dehydrated foods?
My enthusiasm for yummy foods drove me to generally research for the fantastic elements, tirelessly travel to the most astounding eating places, and strategy lunch and evening meal as you sip your morning coffee. I are living and breathe foods. You cannot teach that, you’re either food and cooking obsessed or you’re not. My father often joked when I was a little child, “Jennifer, you dwell to try to eat, I try to eat to are living.” No more true phrases have been spoken. That obsession drove me to modify occupations in my mid-twenties, from a designer for an architectural firm to attending culinary school and finally chefing in New York Metropolis dining places. That is my gain, an absolute passion for delicious food items.
What are the worries when it will come to dehydrated food production on a extensive scale?
We’ve been cooking and drying employing the identical method from the beginning. It is effective, so scaling has just expected much more space and bigger gear.
How critical is sustainable output and logistics to you and, assuming the remedy is ‘very,’ how do you
We’ve labored with neighborhood farmers for some of our ingredients. It’s hard currently being in Maine. There is a shorter increasing time so we do supply our greens on a far more national stage. Past 12 months alone we went by means of 50,000 lbs of diced onions. Which is a total great deal of onions! As considerably as our packaging, at the minute it is not compostable. It is created from a share of write-up-consumer recycled products. A salesman walked in our door yesterday trying to peddle his packaging wares. I informed him if he experienced a bag that would be able to maintain boiling drinking water for 20 minutes without having decomposing, I would obtain it on the place. Sad to say, that doesn’t exist appropriate now. I believe that educating hikers and backpackers about the shelf lifetime of genuine meals and the system of rehydration would go a extended way. If we had been to sell our meals in compostable baggage, the shelf everyday living would be shorter and the foods would require to be rehydrated in a different vessel, like a thermos.
What’s your fave meal in the backcountry? Dehydrated or in any other case?
Is there a meal you wish you could make as a dehydrated food but just simply cannot?
Recipe is below
I’ve been to Athens Greece, two times in my daily life and equally moments I have experienced the most astounding Gyro Lamb Kebab sandwiches. This is a super quick recipe and most of it can be ready in advance of time. I know when I’ve automobile camped, lots of of the campsites have grills at just about every web page. If a grill is offered, your evening meal will be even far more delightful.