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Best travel meal option: Meal Mart + MRE heaters?

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Hello, all. I am going on a big RTW trip after Sukkot where many of the stops will have no kosher food at all. I have taken LaBriute meals before but they are horrible. I understand that Meal Mart meals are better but they don't have self-heating. I like the self-heating feature a lot -- finding a microwave can be a pain, especially where I am going.

So it occurred to me that a combination of Meal Mart travel meals + MRE heaters might work. You can buy packs of MRE heaters on the web: http://www.nitro-pak.com/mre-heater-p...

Any thoughts?

What about putting the heaters in checked luggage (I will NOT carry them on the plane!

)

Many thaks

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  1. I might want to consider shipping some of the travel meals to locations you know you'll be at with instructions to have the box refrigerated/frozen at the destination hotels.

    1 Reply
    1. re: berel

      The Meal-Mart meals are shelf-stable, so you don't need to worry about refrigeration/freezing.

      I've only had two of the Meal-Mart meals (the kebab one, and I can't remember the other), but both of them were remarkably decent, and much better than I was expecting. We traveled with both a plug-in water boiler and a plug in burner + pot; I don't remember which of the two we used to heat the meals, but either way, we immersed them in boiling water for a while, perhaps ten minutes. This worked beautifully. If you can find a boiler that doesn't have exposed coils on the bottom (we used a 220 V Toastess model that looked like this one: http://tinyurl.com/37w8da5 although I don't know if it's the same), it's a very good item to have for traveling in general. Not only can you use it to heat up packaged foods like the Meal-Mart meals, it's good for pasta, couscous, oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, any boilable vegetable, etc. (Sadly, it makes terrible, albeit edible, rice.)

    2. We've tried several of the Meal Mart shelf-stable meals. They are pretty awful if they are not heated, which makes me a little nervous, but when they are warm they are very good.

      We've had: chicken leg, beef rib steak, stuffed cabbage, cholent (better than it sounds.)
      Avoid: any of the parve "cheese". I can't remember who in my family are the salmon and what he thought.

      One thing we've done when we travel is go to Walmart and buy disposable BBQs and then we cook hot dogs. They keep pretty well since they are already cooked and are all full of preservatives.

      PS It is illegal to bring the heaters on a plane even in checked baggage.

      1. Noah's Ark in Teaneck supposedly makes excellent travel meals, and ships them to you... I've never tried them though

        1. This has been discussed here before. I travel with My Own Meals, which I have found to be the best alternative by far.

          1. Agree with what KosherCritic said. I've traveled with My Own Meals a few times and actually think they are quite good (almost to the point that I would eat them if I wasn't traveling and was too lazy to cook dinner). My favorites are Pasta with Garden Vegetables, Old World Stew and Chicken with Noodles and Vegetables. Not sure where you are located but if you are in NJ Glatt Express in Teaneck sells individual packages (I believe you can only order by the case if you order through their website).

            1. RTW = Round the world?

              (Um....May I respectfully ask that the OP keep us updated on where he is and what he is eating)

              If it were me, I would get some advice from a competent Rav about buying food locally ...will you be able to prepare your own food?

              1. thank you all for the suggestions

                RTW=round the world

                my trip includes a week in India and Bulgaria so I will need a solution. I think overall taking a small hot pot to heat the meals up is the best way to go.

                5 Replies
                1. re: PatentMan

                  How many porters do you anticipate having around, to carry all of your luggage full of Meal-Mart meals?

                  In my experience, if you're going to be away for more than 9-10 days, you need to eat mostly food that you can find locally, supplemented by stuff you bring from home, because you just can't carry that many calories. You can find vegetables, fruit, eggs, rice, other whole grains, and fish pretty much anywhere, and if you have a burner+pot+some sort of cooking oil (bring that from home, in a very well sealed container), you can eat mostly local. (The boiler is helpful, but less versatile, because you can't saute.) Even the stuff you do bring shouldn't be predominantly Meal-Mart (or anything else fully hydrated) - it's too heavy. You're much better off with things like couscous into which you can cook local water, so you're only carrying the dehydrated weight.

                  1. re: PatentMan

                    I don't know about Bulgaria, but I imagine India has at least a chabad presence, if not an independent kosher restaurant. Of course that depends on what city you plan on being.

                    1. re: avitrek

                      There is Chabad in India. Where I am not sure, but a friend's son was at a seder in india at a Chabad.

                      My husbnad like the Meal Mart meals for work. I have only had the eggplant parm which si surprisingly parve when I get it. i add my own cheese tot the top and LOVE it!

                      1. re: avitrek

                        Even if there are Chabads in a particular country, they're not going to be in every city you're going to travel to if you're going to see the country at all. You may be able to plan your Shabboses around them, but it's hard to rely on them entirely and still be able to see much.

                        1. re: GilaB

                          we drove cross country, brought a pot and coil burners you plug in. We bought pasta and other stuff along the wayand doublewrapped in microwaves when needed

                    2. Both India and Bulgaria have a large Chabad presence. Both countries are extremely popular destinations for Israelis. India has Chabad houses in:
                      Andeman
                      Dharamsala
                      Delhi
                      Goa
                      Hampi
                      Kasar Devi
                      Kasol
                      Kochi
                      Kodaikanal
                      Manali
                      Mumbai
                      Pune
                      Pushkar
                      Sri Lanka
                      Rishikesh
                      Varanassi