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Backpacker Magazine

MaryJanesFarm Backcountry Food, formerly sold as MSR Mountain Gourmet, receives an Editors’ Choice Award from Backpacker Magazine, April 2000.

Editors' Choice Award

Mountain Gourmet - Great tasting, easy prep, very filling ... this can't be camp food


Between rappelling off cliffs, hauling a 40-pound pack across steep slickrock, and fording snow-fed streams, I'd had a busy morning. That's to be expected in the outdoors, but still, something was different, something was missing. Then it dawned on me: My stomach wasn't rumbling. In fact, my watch said 11AM and I wasn't even a tad hungry.

The reason: I'd feasted that morning on a scrumptious stack of Organic Griddle Cakes from MSR's new Gourmet line of dehydrated foods (formerly known as EcoCuisine). The flapjacks filled my innards better than any instant oatmeal I'd ever eaten and promised to power me through several canyons still to come. Dinner and dessert proved equally energizing and delicious. Selections like Pasta Primavera, Garlic Fry Bread, and Curried Lentil Bisque, to name a few of the 30 offerings, had my fellow campers begging to lick the bowl.

What separates MSR's Gourmet line from other camp food is the tantalizing juxtaposition of unusual ingredients. For instance, there are sunflower seeds in the oatmeal, cilantro flecks in the couscous, and tomatoes and jalapeños in the Fiesta Pasta.


Besides incredible flavor, the MSR meals are also vegetarian, almost entirely organic, and stocked with vitamins but not chemicals (no MSG or preservatives). They're great comfort food when a hard day turns cold and wet. "At a moment like this, what could taste better than garlic mashed potatoes?" purred one tester as fat snowflakes landed on her cheeks.

The clincher is that every meal comes in a paper bag for easy burning or recycling, which is a vast improvement over the eco-nasty plastic and tin foil pouches of most dehydrated foods.

Bottom Line: The best-tasting instant camp food we've sampled, plus it's nutritious, organic, vegetarian, and widely available.

— Susan Newquist

reprinted with permission of Backpacker Magazine © April 2000 / photo by Jonathan Dorn


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