One of the problems with bunkerfood is that it either tastes lousy or requires reconstituion using perishables (milk, butter, etc). In a perfect world you’d have a food that tastes great and requires nothing except water.
Now, Idahoan potatoes are pretty much a staple of any well-stocked bunker. Big drawback is that they require milk and butter to reconstitute. Sure, you can use instant milk and dehydrated butter but it aint gonna taste the same. Well, as it turns out they have several products that do NOT require butter or milk. Simply pour a pouch of potato granules into a bowl, add two cups of boiling water, stir, wait one minute and *presto*.
How good could this be?
Damn good. I mean, really good. Like, eat it every day even if theres no apocalypse good. Thats right – bunkerfood you’ll wanna eat every day.
mentioned this product to me and I found some in my local Albertsons. $1.20 for a four ounce sealed package that makes 4 servings. (Really, two servings…after a day of rebuilding society and manning a security point you get hungry.) So I tried the ‘Buttery homestyle’ flavor last night. Literally, it was as simple as the directions said – two cups boiling water to a bowl of this stuff, wait one minute and eat. And it was delicious! A little creamier and smoother than I prefer but thats easily taken care of with using a bit less water. Great buttery taste and no need for additional salt.
I was extremely impressed. I mean, really impressed. So impressed that these suckers are going into the bunker as soon as I locate a #10 can of them. I called Idahoan to ask about this product. My questions:
Q: How di I read the product date code? (In this case: 3246YDM4) Seemed it would be Year/Date/Month [YDM, get it?])
A: Julian code – year first, then date, then month.
Q: Whats the shelf life of the product?
A: We recommend using it within one year of that date.
Q: Okay, I understand thats the official line..between you and me, what? Two years? Four years? Im trying to stock a bunker here.
A: Well, I’ve had some a year and a half old and they tasted fine. It depends on the ingredients..the flavored ones use ingredients for flavoring that may not last as long. On the regular unflavored mashed potatoes its [indefinite].
Q: The normal Idahoan requires milk and butter. These flavored ones dont. Do you have the regular Idahoan that doesnt require milk or butter?
A: Yes, thats product #00142, ‘Real Premium Mashed’
Q: Outstanding. Is that available in the #10 cans?
A: You’d have to contact our food service division at Nestle.
Seriously, kids…this is some good stuff. I tried the Buttery homestyle and loved em. Gonna try the herbed ones tonight and try frying them as potato patties/latkes. Current packaging is a cardboard box with wax paper bag (like breakfast cereal) or a 4 oz. paper package. Neither one lends itself to the rough-n-tumble lifestyle of your average LMI but Im going to see if I cant hunt down some #10 cans (I love #10 cans!!!!). Worst case, I could simply store/transport them in 5-gal buckets.
Man, that was yummy. And can be made using an alcohol burner and a canteen cup. Perfect!!!