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Stowaway Gourmet Wild Boar Bacon Bean Stew

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Stowaway Gourmet Wild Boar Bacon Bean Stew soup

Restaurant quality, at lower than restaurant prices...on the trail, no less. This is one of the best things I have put in my mouth, ever.

Pros

  • Strong flavors
  • Appropriate portions
  • NO gassiness in spite of the beans!

Cons

  • a little pricey

Continuing to work my way through the Stowaway Gourmet catalog (as it becomes available), we come to their Wild Boar Bacon and Bean Stew.

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What is Wild Boar Bacon?  Apparently, it is "feral pig" meat, cured as a bacon. Easy. Thick cuts of belly meat, just like standard upscale supermarket bacon, as evidenced by strong marbling and a great whack of salt. (I suspect that most of the sodium in this meal comes from the bacon.) But savor that thick, chewy cut of meat for just a little while and the salt dissipates, leaving the boar-bacon flavor to shine.

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And shine it does: gamey and pleasantly fatty.  Also big slices of mushroom and onion and celery. The beans have already been cooked to perfection prior to freeze-drying and so rehydrate into a smooth mash without any lumps or chunks. And once again, the portion size was just right for a day hike—and therefore maybe just a little light for a day's-end backpacking meal.

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My only gripes really are the saltiness of the bacon, and that there might be just a wee bit too much spiciness to the overall meal. A little less spice would let the flavors of the other ingredients come through stronger, but that's a pretty minor nitpick, really.
(Update 2023.11.29:  Today's offering seemed to be a little less spicy, and a little less salty.  It was so good!)

Oh, and perhaps the biggest win? No gas. Dunno how they did it, but this is the first freeze-dried meal involving beans that I've ever had that did not have...consequences. Wow.

Update 2023.11.29
I headed out for a hike today (with a high of 36 degrees!) and brought this as I needed a treat.  And that gives me the chance to update this review with pictures and so on.

A word on the nutritive value of this meal: excellent.
548 calories in the whole bag is a good, solid energy source, coming from a good balance of protein (42g), carbs (68g), and fat (14g).  Sodium is pretty moderate for a meal of this kind at 1106mg or 50% rda for the whole bag.

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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: $17

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Specs

Price MSRP: $16.95
Reviewers Paid: $17.00
Product Details from Stowaway Gourmet »

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