Swartz Foods Sausage Gravy & Biscuits and Beef Marinara Over Pasta
by Ric Hubbard • March 18, 2023
At this year’s Live Free USA Camp Independence, we are blessed to have Heather Swartz in attendance with a presentation on food presentation, to include freeze drying. She is well placed to teach this subject because she happens to be the owner of Swartz Foods (https://swartzfoods.com/) , specializing in providing freeze dried food for the outdoors and preparedness.
On a recent camping trip I had some of their menu items along for the ride. I sampled two meals during the overnight trip, and I won’t keep you in suspense. They were great.
I had the Beef Marinara Over Pasta for dinner that night. I am an enthusiastic fan of Italian food and can be very picky about it. I also regularly make a dish very similar to this one, so it is also a comfort food for me. Food familiarity is an important asset in maintaining morale in a survival situation, and I am happy to say that this item would be a morale boost for me.
This dish has large chunks of beef in a tasty marinara sauce. It is well seasoned and then mixed with heavy Cavatappi pasta. My usual feeling on the best of the freeze dried foods that I have tried over the years is that it is good food for Freeze Dried. This was good food. If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought I had made it myself.
Breakfast was a grilled steak and their Sausage Gravy & Biscuits. I grew up on biscuits & gravy. It is another of my comfort foods, which is why I ordered it. The only other Biscuits & Gravy I have tried is from Mountain House, which is good for freeze dried. The main issue with it is the biscuits. They freeze dry the biscuits, break them up and mix them in with the sausage gravy. Swartz Foods went another route to ensure that you get a quality product.
You get a large helping of the gravy, but you get two complete, freeze-dried biscuits wrapped by themselves. You are meant to break up the biscuits and mix them in after and let sit until you get the right texture.
The gravy was terrific, but I made the mistake of not breaking the biscuits down enough and then not letting them sit long enough. My biscuits were still crunchy in the middle. I very much enjoyed it, but when I have it again, I will fix my mistakes to get the right texture.
Ultimately, the only question that really counts is would I order and eat these again? My answer is a resounding YES! I will be adding a light weight insulated bag to my cook kit because the cold weather I was camping in caused the meals to lose heat a little faster then I like and the insulated bag will fix this.
Swartz foods are going to be included in my plans for storage foods. I enjoyed them and I can see where these familiar dishes would be a comfort to my families and me when things go south, so this will not be the last time you hear about it on Ready Magazine, I will be trying out more of the menu.