Friday, 24 August 2012

Dehydrated Meal Review: Part 3. Mountain House Salmon and Potato in Dill Sauce

This was the one I was looking forward to most with respect to freeze dried meals. Mountain House have a fairly good reputation and seem to be particularly popular in the USA. I picked Salmon and Potato in Dill sauce as it sounded like it might be healthy. Oh well, here goes the review.

I will review the following:

• The packaging, ease of access etc.
• Ease of preparation.
• Texture.
• Flavour.
• After the meal.
• Nutrition.

The packaging for the Mountain House meal was quite easy to get into, something I believe can be important after a long days walking and your energy reserves are low. As much as anything, it can be demoralising when you are struggling to access the packet and you are starving.

I boiled up some water and followed the instructions on the packet as accurately as possible. The instruction advised 300ml, which I added and gave the mixture a good stir, always making sure to get right into the corners of the packet. The packet was then sealed with the Ziploc and left for 9 minutes. This didn't seem long enough on inspection and so the meal was left eventually for 15 minutes before the meal seemed as good as it was going to get.

I returned to the packaging after the allotted time, opened it and gave it a good stir. Right, lumps of stuff in sauce. There was a lot of sauce, I think too much given the volume of solids in this meal, or lack of. With lumps of foam floating in it.

Tasting this was a whole new experience. The texture has much to desired. It looks like Styrofoam and has the texture of Styrofoam. There's an old adage, that if I was to follow it, would make this Styrofoam. The remainder of the meal was this watery sauce with what looked like might be salmon in it.

The flavour on the other hand was pretty good. The potato lumps are passable, but the sauce was very nice and tasted as I would expect of the advertised flavour. Unlike some meals there was also a lack of a greasy taste, something that would not make sense later, as will be revealed.

The after taste of the meal was also pleasant, so a thumbs up there. But what I was disappointed with was the fact that I didn't feel at all full. Other meals have had a robust, filling texture. I think that the fact this was sauce with some lumps meant that, by design, it had no hope of filling me up.

What about a nutritional value, this is where the scary bit happens. I understand  that many expedition meals have a fat content because they are intended for expeditions in extreme environments. but this meal took it to a whole new level. The full meal contained 39.7g of fat, that is a whole lot of fat. 110g of Haagen-Daz Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream only has 22.77g of fat. Sorry, I like my arteries clear.

So would I have it again, personally no, but others may disagree or see a reason to justify so much fat i.e. walking to the North Pole. I've included some nutritional facts so you can make up your own mind.

Pkg. Dry Wt.(g)    110g
Prepared Weight   410g
Energy(Kcal)        609Kcal
Protein(g)             18g
Carbohydrate(g)   44.9g
From Sugars         11.1g
Fat(g)                   39.7g
From Saturates     12.7g
Fibre(g)                0.6g
Sodium(g)             0.5g


  1. Interesting.
    This was my least favourite Mountain House Meal. I got the water ever so slightly out - it turned it into a soup. I thought it was awful, to be honest!

  2. Hello there Alan. I found the taste okay but the texture leaving a lot to be desired. I have tried their Spaghetti Bolognaise which was pretty nice, including texture. But they lag behind other cheaper or equally priced options.

  3. I had the same on Friday, and found it acceptable. I was surprised by the texture, which was small blocks of potato in sauce. However, after cycling for five hours it was going down well, though in the end I just drunk it (forgot my spoon!). Probably wouldn't buy it again, there are better ones out there.

  4. Hi Hendrik. Yeah, taste wise I found it okay, the texture just didn't have that stodgyness I like after a long walk. Might work well as a quick midday meal with it being lighter than others I've had.