ProView – Good To-Go Mushroom Risotto
Backpacking meals aren’t something I usually assimilate with the thought of a high degree of culinary appeal. It’s been my experience they 1) provide calories, 2) sometimes taste pretty decent, and 3) are not usually anything to write home about.
Good To-Go Mushroom Risotto
Product Name: Good To-Go Mushroom Risotto
Product Description: Our risotto is made the old-school way. Caramelize onions in olive oil, add the risotto and toast slightly, deglaze with white wine, slowly add stock. Boom. Finally, the basil pesto and sautéed mushrooms are added.
Offer price: MSRP: $8.50 - $89.70
A great tasting, gourmet style backpacking meal.
- Great flavor
- Easily rehydrates with good texture
- Low sodium
- Light on calories and protein
- Longer preparation time
I recently received Good To-Go’s Mushroom Risotto to try out. I had a backpack mule deer hunt on the calendar, so I threw this in my meal bag to try out. This was a short trip into some steep country where weight and efficiency was a consideration.
Upon receiving the meal, the minimal packaging was the first thing to catch my eye. I’ve used some meals that came in a package much too large for the contents, which then creates issues with pack volume on extended trips. The packaging was compact and robust.
Caloric content is another important consideration. The risotto weighs in at 410 calories per package and 13 grams of protein. This is one point of contention for me. I’d like to see these numbers a little higher. If gluten-free and vegan are points of consideration for you, this meal hits the mark. This meal is also much lower in sodium than many other backpacking meals.
Ease of Preparation
Preparation time for dehydrated meals is another consideration. I typically don’t like to wait very long for a meal to rehydrate. Oftentimes, dinner is after dark and I want it to be rehydrated by the time I get my pack ready for the next day’s hunt. In simpler terms, 10 minutes is good and 20 minutes is starting to get too long. The Good To-Go was well-rehydrated at the prescribed 20-minute mark. Longer prep time seems to be the norm with dehydrated foods. It’s not a deal breaker, but might be a consideration.
Taste and Texture
Let’s get to the bottom line though, right? How did it taste? I’ll be quite honest, I was impressed. My first thought was “How good can dehydrated mushroom risotto be?” The answer was VERY good. The flavor was nice and earthy, as I would expect from the mushroom flavor. The seasoning was delicious. No bland food that needs extra hot sauce here. In fact, this is something you would expect to pair with a nice glass of wine. No kidding. The meal was adequately filling, and honestly, for backpacking ventures that aren’t big miles/big elevation, this meal would meet nutritional needs just fine.
The Final Word
Anyone who’s tried enough backpacking food has their short list of favorites, the ones you don’t mind having a couple of times in a week if necessary. The Good To-Go mushroom risotto reaches that level for me. I really enjoyed a meal that tasted like a well-prepared dinner. It was delicious enough it was worth the extra prep time and the penalty in calories and protein per serving. All said the brand name is quite fitting for the quality of this dehydrated meal.
About the Gear Tester
Jason has hunted across the west for a couple of decades. You may find him backpack hunting in the wilderness, or following his two drahthaars across the canyons of the intermountain west in search of chukars and grouse.