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AlpineAire Pork Jambalaya

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: AlpineAire Pork Jambalaya meat entrée

A solid and pleasant offering from AlpineAire. Spicy, filling, quick and easy backpacking food.

Pros

  • Easy, quick, no mess
  • Good rehydration
  • Spicy, tasty

Cons

  • Spiciness covers over other flavors
  • A wee bit pricey

I have to say, AlpineAire is...not absolutely consistent in their quality. Some of their meals are excellent; most are at least good; and some are just bland, rarely shading as far as bad. This is one of those that are solidly good—just missing out on excellence.

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Preparation:
Standard freeze-dried preparation, really. 2 cups of boiling water and 12 total minutes of waiting, with an extra stir in the middle. As easy as. The water level seems to be spot on, and rehydration was perfect. Everything tender without being mushy.

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Nutrition:
620 calories in the whole bag, mostly via the rice. Only 4.5g of fat, 15g of protein, and 20g of carbs. It's good, a decent amount of energy for slightly lighter days on the trail. Sodium is maybe a wee bit high at 1880mg(82% rda) in the whole bag. Salt was not a dominant flavor—barely noticeable, even.

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Taste and Satiety:
This is good stuff. Spicy without being a killer.  Although just a tiny bit too spicy to taste the veggies (...apart from the bell pepper, but that's a personal sensitivity. I can't not taste bell pepper.). The pork chunks were big enough to push through the spiciness, though, and that was very nice. AlpineAire used a decent quality cut of meat. The meal itself was big enough to be filling without running into gut-buster territory.

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Recommendation:
In the final analysis, this is a good product. A tasty meal. I will be buying this again. Even though, at $14, it felt...just a tiny bit overpriced for the overall satisfaction. But it's in line with other similar meals and certainly justifiable. If AlpineAire wanted to take this into "Excellent" territory, they'd need to dial back the spice just a little (a very little) and use larger cuts of vegetables to allow those flavors to shine through a little better.

Background

Joshua has been hiking, backpacking, and car-camping for more than four decades. He is based primarily in the Pacific Northwest, but has hiked throughout the US, with forays into Hawaii and New Zealand.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $14

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Specs

Price Current Retail: $9.95-$13.95
Historic Range: $9.93-$13.95
Reviewers Paid: $14.00
Calories 620 cal
Protein 30 g
Per package weight 6 oz
Product Details from AlpineAire »

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