So almost three months ago, eFoods Direct sent me three packages of their dehydrated survival / preparedness / emergency food, and, honestly, thanks to our chaotic schedules, needing to make leftovers for work lunches, and various other problems, we have only had a chance to eat just one of the packages – their creamy potato soup (and, in honesty, that was about a month ago… never enough time to write what I want these days).
To begin with, preparation was stupidly simple; like "caveman" levels of simple: boil 4.5 cups of water in a pot, empty the package of dehydrated stuff into the pot, keep boiling (covered for thin soup, uncovered for thicker) for 12-15 minutes, let sit for five minutes, eat. Granted, all of this is predicated on the ability to boil water and a pot to do so in (which seems to be the primary shortcoming of dehydrated versus freeze-dried food), but if you do not plan that into your disaster preparedness, you are doing something wrong.
One thing that stood out to me as I poured in the mix, however, was that there were discernible chunks of matter in there; the entire thing was not ground up into powder and left at that, and the chunks stuck around during the cooking process as well. This is not exactly Campbell’s Chunky or something, but it sure beats the no-texture glop served on ships and in school cafeterias around the world.
And taste-wise, honestly, it was not all that bad. Sure, that might sound like damning with faint praise, but I really prefer strong, pungent, reach-up-and-slap you flavors in my food (to the point of employing ghost pepper powder in my cooking), and no dehydrated anything is going to be able to manage that. However, throw some salt and pepper on the finished product and I dare say this stuff would beat your average, Mk1 Mod0 canned soup competitor while weighing less in packaging and taking up less space. But let us be honest with one another – something that comes out of a bag and has to be reconstituted in boiling water is never really going to be measure up against fresh ingredients put together on the spot. But that is not the point; this stuff is ready to go in 15 minutes with almost no materials and few tools, fresh stuff cannot easily claim that, especially with the difficultly of keeping fresh materials on-hand.
It is important to remember that these soups, however, do not constitute anywhere near a complete meal, what with their 130 calories per serving, and eFoods Direct is fairly forthright about that, putting them in a separate category from their "entrees". However, as a side dish, they function just fine, and we were able to get four acceptable bowls of soup out of the package, as advertised.
So, in summation, no, this stuff is not equivalent to the more-solid-than-not soups your grandmother used to make when white stuff was on the ground outside, but when the lights go out – whether it is for a hurricane or a zombie apocalypse – this is a lot easier to prepare, and you might actually enjoy eating it.
(Obligatory Middle Finger to the FTC: Yes, eFoods Direct sent me these packages of dehydrated food with the understanding that I would review them; however, no requirement as to the nature of the review was posited or set. If the food had sucked, I would have said so, simply because I believe in being honest to my readers. See, we do not really need officious government bureaucrats like you, do we?)