Food Tasting Results

For anyone who is interested in all the gory details, the tables below contain the complete results of all the food reviews my family has done on emergency storage food. It is important to note that different people sometimes gave the same item very different reviews, and furthermore children often like different things than adults, so do not assume that you will like and dislike the same things we do. Please use these tables only as one source of information, and I encourage you to get samples of each brand that you are considering purchasing and do your own taste-testing.

Unless otherwise noted, everything on this page is vegetarian but most is not vegan. (Exceptions: Mountain House and AlpineAire both offer real meat, and Chef's Banquet adds meat products to some of their items.) That's not because I'm trying to push vegetarianism; it's because meat is more expensive to buy and hard to preserve for decades, so many of the most available and affordable storage offerings stick to veggies and diary.

AlpineAire

AlpineAire
ItemAdult #1Adult #2Child #1Child #2
Mountain Chili Mostly TVP with a few beans, edible but really boring.
Spaghetti Marinara with Mushrooms OK but very bland and boring. I like the noodles, but I don't like the taste of the sauce. I don't like it, it's disgusting.
Mushroom Pilaf with Vegetables Acceptable but nothing to write home about (note: this is couscous pilaf, not rice pilaf). OK. OK.
Santa Fe Black Beans & Rice Beans, rice, and even some corn. Spicy enough to take the edge of the usual blandness of storage food, but not too hot. Overall, reasonably good. It's better than I thought it was going to be, it's OK. (but didn't finish the bowl) It's good.
Forever Young Macaroni & Cheese with Vegetables A little better than OK. You could survive on it. A bit bland, light on the cheese, veggies definitely help. I like it. (went back for seconds) I like it, can I have more?
Chicken Rotelle Just OK. Meat was kind of hard. Yum yum, I like it.
Stroganoff Flavored with Beef & Noodles OK. It's OK. I like it, it's good. (prefers AlpineAire to Mt. House)

Notes:

Chef's Banquet

Chef's Banquet
ItemAdult #1Adult #2Child #1Child #2
Regular Rolled Oats Very good. Good, standard oats, unflavored.
Chicken Vegetable To me this tastes like a thick cream of potato soup with vegetables and a hint of chicken bouillon. I couldn't taste the pasta at all. Pretty good. It's OK, I like it.
Cheddar Broccoli Rice It's OK. Decent, mild but does have some flavor, you can taste both the cheese and the broccoli. Just OK. I like it.
Hearty Potato Pretty good. Tastes good, not spicy at all, pretty average potato soup. Really good, my favorite of all the potato soups. I love this.
Instant Potato Rather good, better than most instant potatoes, probably because of all the added fat. Pretty good. Between OK and good.
Mixed Vegetable Nothing to write home about, but the taste is acceptable. A bit chewy even after 15 min of boiling. OK, but not great. OK, but I like the regular kind (i.e. canned or frozen) better.
Vegetable Beef Without the noodles added, barely edible; I'd have to be really hungry to want this. With the noodles, so bland it has barely any taste. OK, but too spicy and too salty. OK, but too spicy and too salty.
Macaroni and Cheese OK, but the cheese sauce is pretty thin so the flavor is weak. I liked it, once we added lots more of our own cheese. Added lots more cheese from the fridge, then it was fine.

Notes:

eFoodsDirect (Nutriversal)

eFoodsDirect (Nutriversal)
ItemAdult #1Adult #2Child #1Child #2
Minestrone Soup OK. OK. Not so hot. Not so hot.
Cheesy Chicken Rice Casserole Edible, but doesn't taste like either cheese or chicken. Bland but palatable. I like it. I hate it.
Tropical Fruit Medley Everybody likes it. Everybody likes it. Everybody likes it. Everybody likes it.
Chili with Cornmeal Dumplings Decent. I like it. OK. Not so hot.
Cheddar Potato Soup I like it. I like it. I like it, but not as much as the Creamy Potato. I like it, but not as much as the Creamy Potato.
Creamy Potato Soup I like it. I like it. I like it, it's good. I like it, it's good.
Italian Chicken Soup OK. Between “OK” and “I like it”. I really like it.
Beef Stroganoff w/ Mafalda Pasta I like it. OK but not great. It's OK. I'd only eat it if I had to.
Granola Pretty good, as good as Costco. Tastes great. I love it; went back for seconds. I love it; went back for seconds.
Vegetable Beef Stew I don't care for this one. Tastes pretty good. Between “OK” and “I like it” (went back for seconds).
Second tasting: It's OK.
I like the stew, especially mixed with the mashed potatoes (went back for seconds).
Instant Mashed Potatoes These aren't too good. Tastes fine, like any other instant mashed potatoes. They're OK. I like it.
Second tasting: They're OK.
Cheddar Broccoli Soup It was good. OK. I like it a lot. I like it a lot.
Oatmeal w/ apple-cinnamon flavor Pretty good. I hate it, feels gooey. OK.
Tortilla Soup Pretty good. OK, will eat it if I have to. OK, but not my favorite.
Pasta Fagioli Soup Pretty good, would be even better w/ fresh carrots added.
Second tasting (with added veggies and macaroni): Not bad.
Pretty good.
Second tasting (with added veggies and macaroni): Good, but the macaroni turns to mush. The original pasta holds its shape much better.
Better than OK.
Second tasting (with added veggies and macaroni): It's delicious.
A little better than OK.
Second tasting (with added veggies and macaroni): It makes me full.
Au Gratin Potatoes OK. Quite good. I liked it, it was good. I liked it, it was good.
Chicken Pasta Alfredo Not bad. Bland but pretty decent. Pretty good. Between OK and “I like it”.
Whey Milk OK, tastes like milk. Better than OK.

Notes:

Food For Health International

Food for Health International
ItemAdult #1Adult #2Child #1Child #2
Cheesy Broccoli Rice (Soup) Edible but mediocre. Fair but uninspired. OK but not a favorite. OK but not a favorite.
Vegetable Barley (Soup) Middling range. OK, nothing special. It's OK. I like this soup a lot.
Italian Tomato Pasta Not bad. OK. It's OK, not my favorite. Pretty good but not my favorite.
Tuscan Butter Noodles Middlin, so-so, I'd eat them again but not enthusiastically. OK. OK.
Creamy Vegetable Rice Better than OK. Quite good. Just OK. Not so hot, not very good.
Creamy Potato Soup Decent, is better with more potatoes added. It's pretty good, best one out of all. I like it a lot, best soup in the world.
Brown Sugar Oatmeal OK, but gooey and bland. I hated it. Better than OK.
Whey Milk I don't really like it. It's OK.

Notes:

Food Supply Depot

Food Supply Depot
ItemAdult #1Adult #2Child #1Child #2
Honey Almond Granola I didn't care for it, it had a little aftertaste. As good as grocery-store granola. Quite sweet, but tasty. It's fine. OK.
100% Real Milk Reminds me of weak dishwater. (Spit it into the sink.) (Refused to drink it.)
Chocolate Milk I don't like it at all. It has a weird aftertaste. Tastes a bit watery to me. I don't really like it. I'd only drink it if there were nothing else to drink.
Refreshing Orange OK, like I remember Tang. A bit milder flavor than Tang, but still definitely tastes like orange. Overall, tastes pretty decent. No dyes, so it won't stain the inside of your cup (or your stomach). OK. Better than OK.
Refreshing Grape Just OK. Pleasant, mild flavor without artificial aftertaste. No dyes. OK. OK.
White Rice A bit stickier than I expected, but perfectly good white rice. Let it stand uncovered or it will be watery. Good, especially with seaweed (make your own sushi). Good, especially with seaweed.
Black Beans
Pinto Beans
Southwest White Bean Chili Not that good. Bean soup by any other name is still bean soup. Fortunately I like bean soup, although this one is rather bland. The chunks of soy protein in it give it a bit more body. OK. Just OK, but it has sort of a disgusting taste to it.
Wild Mushroom Risotto Just OK. I like it. Plenty of rice gives it a nice thick texture, with a hint of mushrooms and some spices. OK. Good but spicy.
Creamy Stroganoff Pretty good: sauce is not too heavy, and it has sort of a mushroom flavor. Good. I like it.
Rotini á la Marinara It's not bad. Basically a pasta soup. Tastes good, neither too spicy nor too bland. I like it. (Fought sibling for seconds.) Good. (Fought sibling for seconds.)
Wisconsin Cheddar and Pasta A very mild mac and cheese. If you want your pasta softer than "al dente", then give it a little more cooking time. Good (thumbs up - went for seconds). Pretty good, but not my favorite mac and cheese.
Rio Grande Beans and Rice Not that good. Bland but quite palatable. I don't really like it. It's OK.
Tomato Florentine Soup Not bad. Pretty good. Enough spices to keep it from being bland, but not so much as to distract from the tomato. Also has a little pasta in it to improve the texture. Pretty good. Good, especially if you add cheese, but a bit too spicy.
Nantucket Potato Soup It's OK, very heavy on sodium. Mild but with enough seasoning for a decent flavor. If you like a very thick soup add some more potatoes. It's good. Better than OK.
Harvest 6 Grain Cereal I liked it, but I had to put syrup on it to sweeten it. Perfectly good hot cereal. Unsweetened so it's very bland, but you can add whatever you like to perk it up. It's OK. It doesn't taste like anything.
Artisan Oatmeal OK, as good as anything else. It's hard to mess up oatmeal. Taste is fine (mildly sweet oatmeal), but I had to cook it for 15 minutes rather than the 1 minute called for in the directions. Too plain. A bit plain.
Texan Sunrise Skillet Just OK, maybe a little below OK. Basically a thick potato soup with some bell pepper and spices. Don't be afraid to cook it a little longer if you like your shredded potatoes soft. Filling, taste is fine but nothing special. Good. Good.

Notes:

GoFoods Global (Nutriversal)

GoFoods Global (Nutriversal)
ItemAdult #1Adult #2Child #1Child #2
Creamy Tuscan Pasta Not bad. It's mild and tastes fine, but it starts out more like pasta tomato-cream soup. If you let it stand long enough, it eventually thickens to pasta w/ sauce. Just OK. OK.
Western Potato Chowder It's OK. Bland but filling if you add more potatoes. Could use some spices. Really good. I really like this one.
Chicken Cheddar Rice It's OK.
Second tasting: I liked it.
Taste is fine. More like a soup than a rice dish.
Second tasting: A mild cheesy rice soup. It does thicken a bit if you let it stand for a while.
I like it, I like the flavor. Can I have more?
Second tasting: Pretty good.
I like it a lot.
Second tasting: OK.
Vegetable Beef Stew A bit bland but tastes OK. It even tastes a bit like beef in spite of being vegetarian. OK. OK.
Seasoned Mashed Potatoes I liked it. Decent for instant potatoes. You can taste the seasoning but it's quite mild, and you can tell there is milk added. Pretty good. OK.
3 Cheese Alfredo Pasta with Chicken It's good. Quite nice, the cheese sauce isn't too heavy and it has very subtle but tasty spices. Really good. Fantastic.
Wisconsin White Cheddar with Pasta Shells I like it. Slightly different flavor than conventional mac and cheese (because it is a different type of cheese than is normally used), but still quite good. This is good, I like it. I love it.
Beefy Stroganoff with Mushrooms It's good. Pretty tasty. This is my favorite entree so far, you have to buy 10 more packages. (went back for thirds) It's good. (went back for seconds)
Southwestern Tortilla Soup It's not bad. Tastes fine but I didn't see any tortilla, and it was more like broth than soup. I'd either use less water or add some rice to thicken it up. I don't really like this. It's OK but not my favorite.
Cheddar Broccoli Soup It's good, but it would be nice to have more broccoli in it. Tastes fine, but a little thin for me. If you like thick soup, use less water. It's pretty good. I like it.
Potato Cheddar Soup Not bad. Tastes good, mildly cheesy. Heartier if you add hash browns. It's OK. It's good.
Sweet Corn Chowder Not bad, I kind of like it. Fine, but tastes a lot like potato chowder. Would be better with lots more corn added. It's OK. It's OK.
Chicken Noodle Soup It's OK. A bit bland and wouldn't fool anybody into thinking it was real chicken soup, but it's not bad if you aren't expecting it to be something it's not. It's OK. Too much vegetables. All I taste is noodles.
Kona Joe Instant Premium Roast (Coffee) It was good. I'd drink it regularly.
Orange Passion Green Tea Not crazy about it. The orange flavor doesn't really go well with the green tea.
Tropical Piña Colada Energy Shooter Edible, but has an odd aftertaste. I'd rather just have a piece of dried fruit. OK OK (Do not dump the whole thing onto your tongue at once, because the powder is much too strong and dry for that.

Notes:

Legacy Premium

Legacy Premium
ItemAdult #1Adult #2Child #1Child #2
Multi-Grain Cereal It's OK. Good with cold milk, but completely unsweetened so you may want to add a little honey or sugar. I did not like it because it was too plain and didn't have any taste. If I were you I'd try it with honey. I sort of like it with honey on it.
Oatmeal with Brown Sugar Pretty good. Normal oatmeal, very lightly flavored. Slightly sweet, but not overwhelmingly sweet like many of the supermarket brands. It's plain, and it's OK. It's OK, but I like oatmeal a lot sweeter.
Strawberry Creamy Wheat I like this one. Standard cream-of-wheat, with a light, pleasant strawberry flavor. I like it. It's OK. Just OK.
Pasta Alfredo Very mildly seasoned sauce on noodles. If you like your sauce thick either let it stand for a half hour or use less water. I like it. It's really good. Good. I like it better than most things I try.
Pasta Primavera It's good. My family was getting tired of everything being soup so I reduced the water by one third and let it simmer longer, and that produced much better results (the texture was what you'd expect from "pasta primavera"). It was also quite tasty, with a thick and cheesy sauce. It's good, but the peas were too dry. It's OK.
Cheese and Broccoli Bake Not impressed (added more cheese). We tried adding it to pasta, but that didn't really work. I'm not sure where the "bake" part comes from; made as directed it's really cheese soup with diced potato and a few bits of broccoli. As a soup, it's OK. It's good. It's OK.
Chicken A La King Not bad, it's OK. Basically a thick cream-of-chicken (vegetarian) mixed with rice and a few veggies. A bit too thick to be soup but not quite thick enough to eat with a fork, with a very mild flavor. Give it a little extra cooking time if you don't like crunchy ingredients. It's OK. It's OK.
Lasagna It tastes kind of like vinegar. It's not lasagna, it's very bland tomato soup with pasta. It's OK. It's OK.
Stroganoff Not much flavor, too much salt. Good noodles and mild sauce, similar to the Alfredo but with different seasoning to make it a little different. There are no protein chunks pretending to be beef, which I think was a good choice. It's pretty good. (Kept going back for more.) I like it.
Teriyaki and Pasta I didn't care for it (tastes like there is a lot of sugar in it). Ignore the official name: This is sweet and sour pasta soup, which is a little weird. It was a bit sweet for my taste, and I ended up eating the pasta and dumping the broth. I don't really like it because it's a little sour. The only part I like is the noodles.
Cheesy Potato Soup Mix This one is pretty good. Good tasting soup, thick and creamy with little bits of potato and a hint of mild cheese flavor. It's pretty good. It's good.
Enchilada, Beans, and Rice It's OK. Beans and rice in a thick cream-and-tomato sauce. The flavor is fairly mild with just a hint of spices. If you don't like your beans crunchy, give it extra cooking time. It's good. It's OK but too spicy.
Classic Chili Mix It's not bad, but very salty. More of a chili soup than traditional chili. I'd describe the taste as "edible". Ew, I don't like this one. I don't like this one, either.

Notes:

Mountain House

Mountain House
ItemAdult #1Adult #2Child #1Child #2
Granola with Milk and Blueberries It's pretty good. Cereal tends to be better because it's dried anyway. Perfectly good granola, just like from the supermarket. It's OK, but I didn't like the milk in it.
Potatoes & Cheese with Broccoli I didn't really care for it; it tasted like artificial ingredients. Mashed potatoes with a very mild cheese and broccoli flavor. A bit bland, but the taste is OK. No complaints. It's OK. Good.
Vegetable Lasagna Not bad, it's OK. Not quite the same texture as real lasagna, but close, and it tastes good. Pretty good. In between good and pretty good. Can I have more?
Pasta Primavera It doesn't really taste like Pasta Primavera, but it's OK. Thick creamy sauce, mild flavor, you can taste the vegetables, not outstanding but quite decent. Pretty good. Good.
Macaroni & Cheese Not bad. Tastes decent, mild flavor, very thick creamy sauce. Tastes OK. Some of the pasta is hard. (probably needed to soak longer) Tastes OK.
Chicken a la King with Noodles Pretty good. A little better than OK.
Beef Stroganoff with Noodles Half-way decent (a little better than AlpineAire). I like it, can I have a big bowl? (prefers Mt. House to AlpineAire) I like it, it's good.

Notes:

MREs

MREs
ItemAdult #1Adult #2Child #1Child #2
Carrot Pound Cake I liked this one, it has both the flavor and texture of carrot-cake. Just OK. Just OK.
Cornbread Tastes like cornbread, but nothing I'd go out of my way for. A bit too sweet for my taste. OK. OK.
Maple Muffin Top A little dry, with a mild maple flavor. Basically a sweet cake, but not super-sweet like maple syrup or cinnamon rolls. I like it. (Wanted more.) It tastes like coffee but I like it.
Oatmeal Cookie A bit dry, but tasty. I like it a lot. I like it.
Spice Pound Cake Pretty good, actually tastes like spice cake. It's even a little bit moist. I like it. (Kept going back for more.) I like it. (Wanted more.)
Toffee Crunch Cookie A big mild cookie. Somewhat dry, and not too sweet. The "toffee" bits in it are very small and there aren't very many of them. Good. Good.

Notes:

WISE foods

WISE foods
ItemAdult #1Adult #2Child #1Child #2
Pasta Alfredo Pretty good, would be better with fresh vegetables added. Pretty tasty. Really good, the best so far. I like it, can I have more?
Hearty Tortilla In the middle, good for dehydrated food. One of the best, actually has some spices in it, not bland. Too spicy, don't like it. Too spicy, don't like it.
Savory Stroganoff So-so. Pretty good, very creamy sauce. This is my most favorite so far, went back for seconds. Very good, wish there were more of it.
Cheesy Lasagna Not so hot, weird aftertaste. Decent, but the tomato and cheese mix into a weird sort of tomeese flavor. Not so hot. Not so hot.
Creamy Pasta and Vegetable Rotini I like it, but it needs more vegetables. Pretty decent, but agree it could use more veggies. It's pretty good. I like it a lot and love it.
Apple Cinnamon Cereal I like it, it's good. A tad bland, but better than plain oatmeal. OK, would eat it if I had to. I'd only eat it in an earthquake.
Teriyaki and Rice I don't like it, too sweet, only ate a spoonful, reminds me of sweet pickles which I don't like. Mild but pretty tasty. Pretty good. Not so hot.
Brown Sugar and Maple Multi-Grain Pretty good. OK. I like it.
Chili Macaroni Mild but I like it, the TVP works well. Really good. Really good.
Crunchy Granola So-so. Decent granola, but not the best I've ever had. OK. I liked it.

Notes:

Extra Starches

There is no need to include detailed taste-testing data for the freeze-dried instant rice (Mountain House), dehydrated hash-browns (Provident Pantry), or macaroni (Provident Pantry), because the results can easily be summarized: