Joined: 27 Feb 2009 Posts: 40 | TRs | Pics Location: Federal Way,WA
Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:08 pm
My order placed Tue the 27th @ 8:58 PM has already been "Processed through Sort Facility, July 28, 2011, 7:29 pm, FEDERAL WAY, WA 98003" Although I didn't spend enough to get the free shipping, I went with the USPS shipping option.
-------------- "How come dumb stuff seams so smart when you're doing it"
Joined: 25 Aug 2006 Posts: 997 | TRs | Pics Location: Seattle, WA
Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:40 pm
Yep, we "discovered" PiG last year, and fell in love. Just got our $150 order recently, getting to try some new stuff.
-- We've more than liked every single thing we've gotten from them. Reaction has ranged from "that's pretty damn good" to "ZOMGNOMNOMNOMNOM".
-- The gumbo: pack in a tin of smoke oysters, and add 'em. Better than 75% of the gumbo I have at restaurants.
-- The Trailside bean burritos are a favorite. Great for breakfast, a short energy break, or lunch. IIRC, they say "serves 1", but it has no problem filling Ethel and I up for lunch ('specially if we add a block of the shelf-stable cheese).
-- The Big 'Un Burrito is awesome, and next time, I might just order 10 of them. They work as any meal, any time, on the trail.
-- The Tuscan Beef Stew with Polenta is something special.
We commented, as we were exiting from a 5 day trip, it was the first time our conversation on the last day wasn't ever-growing fantasies of what we were going to eat on the way out. We'd already had real food for the whole time.
I haven't even opened my box yet, gotta do that tonight. It sure will be nice to have a stocked pantry right at home, no more last minute trips to REI with a choice of food I can't afford to eat or food I don't want to eat.
Joined: 25 Aug 2005 Posts: 273 | TRs | Pics Location: Berkeley, CA
Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:00 pm
So I enjoyed my PIG meals during the course of my Cascade Crest/ Alpine Lakes High Route trip, though I wasn't sent into the rhapsodic raptures that the stuff apparently inspires in some of you. It's good, and certainly an improvement over the overpriced Mountain House/ Backpacker's Pantry stuff at REI. It aint all THAT, though. You can certainly make food that is just as good if not better for shorter trips that is not freeze dried and does not really take much more effort. As one example, you can make perfectly serviceable red beans and rice using the standard Zatarains mix with dried sausage added. Sure, it involves more clean up, and it will take 30-35 minutes to cook instead of 20 (hence using more gas). But that seems like negligible/ small beer (unless you're talking about a longer trip or are really concerned about food weight).
As a general comment, I thought that the instructions called for just a little bit too much water. For soups and gumbo, this wasn't such a big deal. but my own preference for rice and dumpling-type entrees is to have them less soupy. So I quickly started using just a little less H20 than called for, with better results.
In descending order of yumminess, IMO:
Gumbo with Smoked Sausage: This was really good stuff, perfectly spiced, nice flavors, the okra was excellently reconstituted. 4 stars.
Red Beans and Rice: Also very tasty, great textures and flavors, zesty.
Ausintacious Tortilla Soup: Very good indeed. As a full entree, it would do better with more carbohydrates (like maybe bring some actual tortillas to add, or more chips).
Dotties Chicken and Dumplings: The most disappointing of the four. Too souply, the broth was salty, and the dumpilings disappointed (I had expected real meatball-sized Knoedel; they were more like gummy little Chicklets).
All in all, I was satisfied and will defintely order again for extended backpacking trips. It's great to not have to clean any dishes. Couple with a starter soup (add the water to the bag, and then add water to a powdered soup or miso and finish that while you wait for the PIG entree- solid game plan).
-------------- The God of language forgives all crimes.
My $150 original order wasn't enough. I am doing a lot of trips this year, plus I have supplied some others with meals from my stash. Also there are some things I just didn't know enough about to order a sufficient quantity. So I just placed another $100 order.
I got two packages of Hormel bacon (precooked, no refridge required until opened), 4 packages of the excellent Kountry Boys sausage, 6 more dinners (Texas chili, Gumbo, and Zydeco red beans and rice, two each) 10 cafe mochas, 10 cappucinos, 3 summer sausage, 2 sliced pepperoni, and some extra cooking bags for splitting some double meals I have. As much as I love Trader Joes' various types of jerky, I was getting a little tired of them. Having several new and really good meat options for lunch or breakfast is a nice change. ADAHY turned me on to the Hormel bacon in the Eagle Cap last month. That stuff is pretty awesome. The aluminum lid from a cookpot I have will make a decent frying pan, good enough for heating precooked bacon anyway, and only weighs 3 ozs.
Joined: 28 Jan 2002 Posts: 7762 | TRs | Pics Location: Maple Valley, Wa
Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:31 pm
The reason the PIG meals are sometimes heavier is they use meat versus freeze-dried meat, real pasta (think the good stuff) and the paste form seasoning, they include packets of dressing, oil, etc. So the weight is a good trade off overall. It is real food versus the slop that MH and other brands are......
Now though can a person do PIG meals themselves? Well of course they can, not hard at all (although having single serving packets of olive oil, salsas, dressings, etc are quite handy for DIY meals). PIG just made it easy for folks who don't have the time or inclination to do it themselves.
I don't think they are any heavier than what I used before, the Mountain House. Most mtn house (non-"pro-pak") are 4.5 to 6.5 ounces, and provide 500 or 600 calories. The most recent Packitgourmet meal I had was Zydeco red beans and rice with smoked sausage, and it weighed 13 ounces for two people, and provided 600 calories each. That is almost identical to a Mtn house rice-based dish. When I pick up a single-person package of Dottie's chicken and dumplings it seems really light and small to me.
I think a person could with some effort and expertise could put together meals just as good as the Packitgourmet, from grocery store ingredients, and save some money, but with most of their meals costing $6, I'm just not motivated. And I'm not sure I could equal the joy of eating their Texas State Fair chili. I have never before had a backpacking meal quite as tasty as that one. One of my favorite parts was the big chunks of tomato in the chili, not little specks like most meals. And when they say "chicken", they mean shredded breast meat, not chopped, pressed mystery meat.
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