Rethinking Adventure Food with Fishpeople Seafood

A few weeks before I set out out on the Pacific Northwest Tour, I got a treat. The folks at Fishpeople Seafood contacted me to see if I’d be interested in trying out their products and sharing my thoughts with you all.

George may have been as excited about not having to eat my cooking as I was to be spared the torment of cooking.

One of the running jokes amongst the outdoor community, particularly ATQA, is my enthusiastic dislike of cooking. So being a professional non-cook as they put it, you can imagine the decision to test their products was a no-brainer.

I’m hoping Fishpeople didn’t hear me say “Well, duh!” when I read their inquiry. Seriously, let’s see… yummy seafood, sustainably harvested, easy to cook, and a seven week camping road trip on the horizon. Gee, twist my arm. 😉

The background…

Based out of Portland, Oregon, Fishpeople Seafood was founded on social and environmental responsibility. In their own words…

Fishpeople Seafood is my new go-to adventure food.

We believe that by creating seafood entrees that are sustainable, local, affordable, healthy, and delicious we can create a “brand family” supporting a seafood industry that works hard to protect our watery habitat and help fish populations thrive.

Their fully-cooked entrees, chowders, and bisques are packaged in a BPA-free pouch that can be boiled or microwaved in just a few minutes. And you can have a look at each batch to see where the ingredients originated… check the Thai Coconut Lemongrass just for kicks and giggles.

The products…

Fishpeople Seafood offers four entrees and five chowders and bisques. They were kind enough to send me one of each to try but more on that in a bit. Here’s the low-down on ingredients and nutrition:

The entrees include Chinook Salmon in a Chardonnay Reduction Sauce, Albacore Tuna in Yellow Coconut Curry, Albacore Tuna in Thai Coconut Lemongrass, and Chinook Salmon and Seafood Pasta…

FP Entrees

The chowders and bisques include Seafood Chili Blanco, Coconut Red Curry Seafood Bisque, Dungeness Crab & Pink Shrimp Bisque, Creamy Razor Clam and Bacon Chowder, Alder Smoked Wild Salmon Chowder…

FP Soups

The Val report…

As I mentioned, I got to try all of the flavors Fishpeople Seafood offers. To get an initial feel for the products, George and I tried one at home before we left on the Pacific Northwest Tour. Of course, he immediately went for the Creamy Razor Clam and Bacon Chowder because, well… bacon. His first thoughts after tasting? “Whoa, that’s good.”

Fishpeople Seafood played a big role in my time at Great Sand Dunes.

Confident I had some great stuff to carry me through the solo portion of the trip, I set out on the road and continued to dive into my stash, particularly during my stay at Great Sand Dunes. After long days out hiking and shooting, having these back at camp was not just a treat but made a warm dinner possible. Between exhaustion and challenging weather, without these on hand I would have likely resorted to snacking on whatever pathetic excuse for food I had in the back of the car that didn’t require any effort.

Having said that, it wasn’t only about simply getting through dinner. Having just come off of my experience at Overland Expo in which Wilderness Dave and Living Overland somehow cajoled me into going to cooking demonstrations, I did venture into trying some more elaborate dinners to compliment the Fishpeople. Believe it or not, I actually tried out a few recipes from of the Life Remotely e-cookbook I picked up at OX. Yes, I cooked! At camp, even. And it was edible. 🙂

More on that fairly entertaining adventure later…

Up close with the Razor Clam Chowder

The point being that the Fishpeople foods stand on their own but also perform quite well when combined with other vegetables, grains, and even in recipes. In fact, they have several recipe suggestions on their site. And here’s where I have to admit I laughed quite heartily (ok, I may have guffawed) when I opened the box and there were recipe cards included, not fathoming for even a second that I’d get more adventurous with them. I guess the joke is on me.

In addition to their versatility, I was struck by the fact that there are actual spices (not just salt…) and real, rich flavor. That trend held true throughout the product line. I absolutely enjoyed every one of the flavors but I was particularly fond of the entrees. George was quite tickled with them as well which says a lot considering he’s 11 and that 11-year-olds in general are not exactly known for being gourmands. (And if you’re wondering where Fred factors into this, he doesn’t. Dude has food issues. Long story. Which just meant more for me so we’re all good.)

Adventuring with Fishpeople Seafood…

For home and car camping, having these at my disposal is an easy choice. As far as nutrition and flavor, they’re a far sight better than virtually all other options for quick, easy meals. And the pouches proved to be quite durable even after being tossed around in my food bin for weeks on end. I wasn’t deliberately brutal to them but I didn’t take care either and they withstood the wear-and-tear quite well.

Some Thai Coconut Lemongrass and quinoa saved me arriving very late to camp at Dinosaur National Monument.

As for more rugged adventures, many backpackers won’t agree with me but I will be taking these with me for several reasons:

  • Yes, because they’re liquid, they’re heavier than dehydrated meals BUT you don’t have to use water to rehydrate thereby conserving that resource. The boiled water you use to heat the pouch can be reused or put to use for something else. Really, you’re just carrying your water in a different way.
  • Because they are packaged fully cooked, if you are in a really bad spot, say your stove fails or you are completely out of water, you can still eat these. They may not be quite as palatable unheated but in a pinch, you’ll be ok. Unlike dehydrated meals, you won’t be stuck with a bunch of food powder that’s useless to you without hot water.
  • Let’s face it, dehydrated backpacking food largely sucks. The most you can really hope for is passable flavor. Even self-made meals leave a lot to be desired when you consider the limitations of back-country cooking. The Fishpeople Seafood offerings are really yummy and are full of the kinds of calories most of us need when facing the exertion that comes with these adventures.

Other considerations…

At $5 to $6 per pouch depending on whether you buy them individually or by the case, they are pricier than other non-perishable food items… but then, this is no ordinary non-perishable product. The quality is well worth the price difference in my book. With a shelf life of 18 months, these are easy to keep around for last-minute I-have-no-idea-what’s-for-dinner dinners as well as emergency rations during events like natural disasters or absurdities like Snowpocalypse.

Brass tax…

Flat out, I’m a fan. I loved the taste, how easy they are to prepare, and their mission. I will certainly be keeping these around for use at home and on adventures.

For a guide to their seafood score as well as harvesting locations and practices, click here.

For more on our Fishpeople Seafood experience, check out this video:

More to come…

Aside from stocking up with Fishpeople Seafood goodies for my own personal use and enjoyment, I’m happy to say that they’re also one of the sponsors of the Hell Hike and Raft adventure that starts September 1st.

Many thanks to Fishpeople Seafood for that sponsorship as well as letting me have a go at their products. There were times on the Pacific Northwest Tour I was so relieved and grateful to have them on hand. But more on that as I chronicle my adventures on the road. Stay tuned…

As always…

Fishpeople Seafood provided me with these items free of charge to review, however, that has not influenced my opinion in any way. My opinion and experiences are my own and they may vary from yours.

And now for your moment of green…

Having Fishpeople Seafood on hand freed me up to go do things like this and still have great food back at camp without a huge production.

Comments

  1. Clam & Bacon Chowder! I’m all over that.

  2. Great, thorough review! I’ll have to check this fishpeoples out 🙂

  3. It’s a no-brainer: I’m gonna be a fishpeople too!

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