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AlpineAire Shakshuka

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: AlpineAire Shakshuka soup

Shakshuka: a spicy north African stew of eggs, tomatoes, and vegetables traditionally served with fresh, warm pita bread here presented as a rice-based freeze-dried meal.

Pros

  • spicy
  • quick and easy
  • satisfying

Cons

  • flavor is overwhelmed by spice
  • texture is monotonous
  • a little expensive?

Once again, trying out unconventional meals in search of the perfect backpacking breakfast :) This isn't it, but it is a tasty, satisfying meal—and definitely off the beaten path.

shakshuka.jpg

Preparation and Ingredients:
I followed the package directions: 2 cups boiling water, stir. I gave it an extra stir at 5 minutes before the final stir at 12 minutes.  Everything rehydrated fully, and the water level was just right to feel that I was eating a stew rather than a soup. I appreciated that.

I also appreciated the generous portion of egg protien and vegetables.

shakshuka-directions.jpg

Nutrition and Satiety:
780 calories in the whole package is a solid amount of energy for a backpacking meal. Sodium is moderate at 1600mg (70% r.d.a.). Cholesterol is likewise moderate for an egg dish, reading 305mg (102% r.d.a.). Lots of protein from the eggs, cheese, and tvp—41g is as much as many meat-centered meals. The protein-to-fat-to-carb ratio was solid and provided long-lasting fuel for the hike—41g/29g/54g. The whole package was filling without being too much.

shakshuka-nutrition.jpg

Recommendation:
In the end, I think this is a solid addition to the rotation. It ticks a lot of boxes: good nutrition and energy without any loginess. It is spicy without being too hot (for a guy who likes spicy food)—although I was slightly disappointed that I couldn't taste, for example, the cheese or the egg or even the vegetables. It wasn't at all the case that it didn't taste good, simply that by the end of the bag I was wishing that there had been just a wee bit more gustatory variety. My mouth was slightly bored by the rather textureless mouthfeel, and there was no burst of identifiable flavor as one might get from vegetables less finely diced. Really just a quibble, rather than an objection.

Another quibble: at $15, it feels just a little expensive. I mean, $15 is pretty standard for freeze-dried backpacking meals, and this was generally satisfying. I can't explain why I feel like this meal was slightly overpriced, but there it is...an impression stuck in my mind. Not that it wasn't good value, but that it wasn't good value.

All that said, if you like spicy foods and you see this on the shelf, go ahead and pick it up—then add your review :)

shakshuka-cooked.jpg

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $15

About the Author

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.

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Specs

Price Current Retail: $10.93-$14.95
Reviewers Paid: $15.00
Dietary Vegetarian
Product Details from AlpineAire »

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