This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking, and buying right now.
Last summer I threw our camping gear in the car and drove with my partner and friends to a creekside clearing, excited for a weekend of beer, sweat, and dumb jokes. The one thing I wasn’t excited about? The camping food I had packed at the last minute. Luckily, one of my best friends, a lifelong outdoorswoman, had smartly brought along a Mountain House Meals packet of freeze-dried biscuits and gravy. I was initially skeptical, but after the first bite, I knew it had earned a prized place in my pantry.
If you’re not a camper, an apocalypse prepper, an astronaut, or a member of the military, you probably have never felt an urge to buy food designed to withstand the passage of time and the most severe weather conditions. The idea of pouring a cup of boiling water into a bag o’ biscuit crumbs wasn’t inspiring to me at first, either. But after adding water, what initially looked like a dusty mixture transformed into hefty, gravy-laden, steamy buttermilk biscuit bits and crumbles of pork sausage redolent of black pepper, sage, rosemary and thyme. It was satisfyingly goopy and heartwarming, albeit spongier than biscuits made from scratch.
Mountain House’s biscuits were so delicious that a week after that camping trip, I was still daydreaming about them. I started making special treks over to the nearby camping goods store to stock up. Now the packets not only are my contribution on outdoorsy friend trips, but also give me a soul-warming, effortless breakfast when I don’t have time to cook a morning meal from scratch while handling my daily inundation of emails.
Don’t get me wrong; this freeze-dried breakfast definitely doesn’t beat a homemade biscuit or anything you’d order at a decent Southern restaurant. But no one’s got time for that on a weekday (or, let’s be real, most weekends). Mountain House’s biscuits and gravy are fast, tasty, and don’t involve waiting in line at a drive-thru window. I’m talking about convenience with a side of comfort for a cold Wednesday morning.
Though there are definitely other, cheaper ways to access a fast biscuit from the comfort of your condo, the bagged version from Mountain House Meals is even a cut above all the disappointing packaged versions I’ve tried from my local supermarkets, both bougie brands and discount options alike. The canned or boxed varieties promise lots of flavor and buttery flakiness but often fall flat, instead delivering bland dryness. And they definitely don’t come with their own gravy.