Dehydrated Meal Review: Part 2. Real Turmat Beef Stew

Real Turmat is the product line of a company called Drytech. They are based in Norway and use Norwegian sources to make their meals. They state on their website that they have worked with the Norwegian Army and the armies of other Scandinavian countries to develop their products. Unfortunately, they are also well known for being expensive. But I thought I would give them a try and see if the outlay was justified by taste. I chose the Beef Stew, as this sounded like something I was used to, and would allow me to give a better judgement on the quality of the meal.

Like the Bla Band meal, I will use the following points of review:

• The packaging, ease of access etc.
• Ease of preparation.
• Texture.
• Flavour.
• After the meal.
• Nutrition.

The packaging for the Real Turmat dehydrated meal was very easy. This is one of those packs that is very tall and narrow, so there was going to be need for a long spoon or some post preparation packaging modification (yep, I've eaten a dictionary).

On opening the pack you find that the dehydrated food is in lumps with rice mixed amongst it. This is something a few of the more expensive meal pack producers are doing and it seems to work well for mixing.

Preparing the meal was pretty straight forward, although the instructions are tiny. Why do they make them so small? You've been walking all day, you return to camp exhausted, large easy to read instructions would go down great. These meals are about convenience aren't they?

I eventually noticed that 380ml of boiling water was required, which I added. I gave the mixture a good stir and left it for around 10 minutes with another quick stir half way through. Once the 10 minutes was up I was left with a well mixed meal that had no excess water floating around.

Eating the meal revealed more texture than there looked. There were surprisingly large pieces of meat in the meal. To me, it was basically a Beef Stroganoff. The rice was reasonably well re-hydrated, and the vegetables were spot on. The texture was very good compared to competitors as it felt more solid.

Taste wise the meal was, initially, a little on the salty side. I'm not sure if I got used to the salt content, or if it was not evenly distributed through the meal, but it seemed to reduce a little. The different ingredients, including the meat, could all be tasted.

The meal was quite large compared to any I've had before. I felt happily full at the end, although the meal was very expensive, so no chance of wasting any. The price is the only prohibitive factor here.

From a nutritional point of view the meal provides 626Kcalories, plenty enough. But again, watch the fat content at 31grammes. If you are going on an Arctic Expedition, or going to high altitudes, then the level of fat may be justified due to the cold climate. For an everyday camping or backpacking meal, I would give this serious consideration. There are alternatives with a far lower fat level.

Would I have it again, possibly. It would be as an occasional treat and generally in the colder weather due to price and fat content. But there is no doubting the's good.

A few Specs from the Real Turmat website

Beef Stew
After water added approx.: 500g
Net weight approx.: 146g - EAN: 7036480061012
Per 100g / per portion:
Energy: 478 kcal / 626 kcal (2000 kJ / 2620 kJ),
Protein: 13g / 17g,
Carbohydrates: 52g / 68g,
Fat: 24g / 31g   
Ingredients: Rice, beef 10%, red and green pepper, onion, rapeseed oil, wheat flour, mushroom, meat bouillon, rosemary extract, salt and seasoning.
May contain traces of milk.