When it comes to most backpacking foods, “palatable” is usually as good as it gets. This is why it might come as a surprise when we gave Good To-Go a try in the field, and it became one of the best camping meals we’ve ever tasted.
Good To-Go shouldn’t be grouped with other camp foods. Yes, it’s lightweight and it rehydrates in about 20 minutes, but it’s real food made into gourmet meals by professional chef, Jennifer Scism, owner of Greenwich Village’s Annisa restaurant. Good To-Go uses vegetables, whole spices, and real ingredients. Scism promises that when the meals are rehydrated, you’ll swear you’re eating food you made at home, and that each of the packs will “elevate your expectations of what trail food can taste like.”
And she’s right. We took a few packs of Good To-Go with us on a weekend ski trip in Vermont’s snowy backcountry. When our ski mates pulled out Clif Bars and PB&Js at the bottom of a run, we ate from a bag of herbed mushroom risotto that we’d recently filled with boiling water from an insulated bottle. The flavors were subtle and delicious, too: crimini mishrooms, carmelized onions, white wine, EVOO, garlic, basil, thyme, and just the right amount of salt. Dehydrated options typically have a glue-like consistency like quick oats. Luckily, these meals — which are completely gluten-free and have a two-year shelf life — taste like something you might make at home.
So we gave it a try indoors, too, testing out a Thai curry pack that includes vegetables and jasmine rice, which is Good To-Go’s current top seller (and our favorite of the bunch). The meal tasted spicy, slightly coconut-like, with a hearty dose of identifiable and delicious green beans and broccoli. And the coconut milk powder is packaged separately to keep the flavors more distinct. It warmed our belly in the best way, too, which is important because most dehydrated meals we’ve tried in the past have resulted in unpleasant gastrointestinal issues when eaten for an entire trip. This is because Good To-Go doesn’t have any preservatives or additives or extra fiber.
The outside of the packs tend to be too hot to grab unless you’re outside and wearing gloves, and the food tastes a little crunchy unless you wait just long enough, but otherwise we couldn’t complain. Soon Good To-Go will offer cup-style packaging that’s more travel-friendly. Until then, we’ll take it as it is, because nothing else comes close to beating it.
[From $6.75 per single serving pack; goodto-go.com]
Courtesy Good To-Go