I only find this yellow coconut curry meal to be mildly spicy but I love my food very spicy so while you may find it more spicy I can't imagine it being too spicy for anyone. While it does take the full recommended 20 minutes to be ready, it is so worth it and this is coming from a guy who takes it backpacking and wants to hurry up and get back to it. This is like eating gourmet in the wilderness. The texture and flavors are spot on. Phenomenal!
All real, natural ingredients
No chemical preservatives
Made in Maine/America by a small family start-up
Comes in 1 or 2 serving size packages
Reseal-able package can be used directly to hydrate contents (no need to dirty dishes)
Slim, durable packaging
Not as long of a shelf life as others (due to the lack of chemical preservatives)
Only 4 meal options (for now)
I have progressed somewhat in my backcountry cuisine habits but will never achieve true greatness. You won't likely ever catch me porting fresh, raw ingredients into the wilderness to ingeniously craft baked goods in a dutch oven. I'm just not much of a cook at home and so my choices in backcountry foods are even more basic. I also like to travel light, fast, and for long distances, which just doesn’t equate to grand culinary efforts.
For years, my budget for three square meals on a backpacking trip consisted of 1-2 Clif bars for breakfast and lunch, then a pasta side mixed with tuna for dinner. I've added in the usual suspects such as dried fruit, nuts, beef jerky, etc., but my strategy has always been very minimalistic. Where many are willing to carry more weight in order to have fresh food, I always saw this as an opportunity to cut weight.
Fortunately I've also been able to get by doing more for less in terms of caloric burn/ intake, at least for periods up to a week. But I realize this won’t work for everyone nor would it probably work for me if I were to ever take on an extended thru-hike.
The area where I stand to realize great improvement is in the quality of the dehydrated foods that I carry in my pack. A few years ago I started upgrading from the ramen and pasta packets to the trendier purpose-made meals, the likes of Mountain House and Backpacker's Pantry.
While it's true that most of these options provide very lightweight, quick, easy, AND tasty/filling meals, they’re still not exactly what you'd call healthy. Mainly they're chocked full of sodium, some with as much as 45% DV per serving! These, like so many packaged foods, also tend to have a lot of artificial ingredients and preservatives.
So I am glad to see a small, family owned start-up company like Good To Go filling the niche of healthier, more natural backpacking meals. They have taken all the benefits of the self-contained packaging and filled it with more nutritious, better-tasting, real food.
I must admit that I'm a huge fan of Thai food and curries in general. So I had to exercise constraint in not ripping into this sample immediately. Finally after a 10-mile paddle (one-way) to one of the most remote Florida Keys, I felt satisfied that I had earned the right to do my taste test. And the wait and effort, plus view, were worth it!
First, I was surprised to find that the powdered coconut milk comes in a separate packet, I guess to preserve freshness. Upon discovering this incredible product, I now want to know where I can find more of this stuff! It is delicious by itself but adds a lot of richness to the meal. It would also go great in drinks, mixed with oatmeal, etc. But I digress. I also enjoyed the large chunks of vegetables. It really did not feel like I was eating a backpacking meal.
I enjoyed this meal at high noon on the beach, with a cold Singha beer to accentuate things. The medium spice from the curry and the heat of the sun were not quite quenched by this, so I later took the show into the water. It was nice to be able to enjoy these flavors in such a lovely tropical setting...I could almost envision being back on the beach in Thailand from my travels years ago.
I would recommend these products especially for outdoors people that are particularly conscious of food ingredients.
Aside from the good taste and nutritious nature of the products, I also like the idea of supporting small American businesses.