Sometimes the sweet tooth hits you no matter where you’re at. When you’re in the backwoods though you can’t exactly run out for an ice cream cone when it hits… or can you? Thanks to Mountain House you can get pretty close with their freeze dried Neapolitan Ice Cream Bar and Ice Cream Sandwich. Yep, that’s right, freeze dried ice cream, the same stuff that the astronauts took into orbit on the Apollo 7 mission back in 1968 and that you can find in the gift shops of science centers everywhere. There’s a certain novelty factor to the concept that makes it worth trying, but we wanted to see if it was actually any good too.
Once you get past the gimmick factor of freeze dried ice cream it starts to look pretty practical for a nice snack in the field. It doesn’t require refrigeration, and its super lightweight to carry (only 1.13 ounces). Even chocolate and other candies can melt and otherwise be affected by temperature but the vacuum sealed Mountain House is shelf stable and will last for years, let alone a weekend in your pack. The Neapolitan Ice Cream is a solid bar around the size of a Klondike with the traditional layered mix of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate flavors. When you open the sealed pouch you find the wrapped ice cream bar which may or may not be in one piece depending on how you packed your bag. The consistency of the ice cream is sort of a stiff, foam board kind of material that snaps when you go to break a piece off. I know that doesn’t sound too appealing ,and it’s a little strange to handle, but when you pop it in your mouth you get true ice cream flavor and it begins to melt in your mouth as your saliva hits the freeze dried cream. It’s a neat mix of crunch as you bite the creamy as you eat. The Ice Cream Sandwich is similar packaged and when you open it up you see what looks to be a regular ice cream sandwich like you’d pull from the freezer section of your grocery store except that it’s too light in weight and it has that same snap to it as the Neapolitan when you break a piece off. Once again though, when you take a bite it tastes like a real ice cream sandwich should.
We had the freeze dried ice cream along on the same trip where we tested out the Mountain House Wraps. They made for a nice diversion in the field from the salty trail mix and jerky and were a good follow up to our Sriracha hot sauce laced tortilla wraps. With MSRP’s of just over $2.00 each the Neapolitan Ice Cream Bar and Ice Cream Sandwich are a pretty inexpensive luxury to take with you in the woods. The weight is such that they really aren’t going to bother anyone short of a truly hardcore ultra-light fanatic and they’re a fun addition to a woods meal plan that can otherwise get kind of boring. Besides, sometimes you just have to give in to that ice cream craving no matter how far you are from the nearest soft serve stand!
As seen in Self Reliance Illustrated!
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