Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat and Sauce: 40-year storage food taste test

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Didn’t occur to me till this morning that I’ve never in life actually cracked one of these cans open. So let’s just say that the can was still pressurized (“packed in nitrogen atmosphere”) and while there are rust spots on the outside the inside is pristine.

The contents look for all the world like freeze dried spaghetti…

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Instructions call for one cup of boiling water to one and a half cups dried stuff. Stir…

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…and wow, that seems more like spaghetti soup. But I suppose the pasta will absorb at least some of that water. Wait 5-10 minutes.

I tried it at five minutes and the pasta was still spongy. At 10 it seemed to have fully rehydrated.

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Doesn’t look like much. But you know, it’s not completely terrible. I’m not sure I’d serve it to the Queen, but it compares quite favorably to my memory of canned spaghetti, which I hated as a boy. Thought I might need to bury it in parmesan, but the dehydrated cheese already in it really comes through. The little chunks of beef are kind of chewy, more or less exactly like really old TVP, but all in all it’s quite edible. I finished the bowl, it’s been half an hour, and my stomach isn’t in any sort of rebellion.

40 year old freeze dried spaghetti: Still worth eating! Thumbs up.

Next test: 40 year old vegetable stew with beef.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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10 Responses to Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat and Sauce: 40-year storage food taste test

  1. Bill T says:

    I love Mountain House products but I have found that they come out better if you use a bit less water than called for.

  2. Joel says:

    This could certainly have done with a bit less water.

  3. Mark Matis says:

    One should probably be careful about getting near any flame or spark producing devices for the next twenty-four hours to ensure that one does not become a methane torch. LB would never forgive you if you accidentally singed off all his fur…

  4. Joel says:

    :) Unless I’m outgassing through my skin, Mark, that hasn’t proven a problem.

  5. sevesteen says:

    Oldest food I’ve eaten was early 50’s hard candy in the mid 80’s, from fallout shelter supplies that were finally being replaced. As I remember, bland but fine.

  6. Joel says:

    Oh, sure. In the eighties I used to buy lots of spam cans full of Civil Defense crackers and such. That stuff was made for nothing but long shelf life. Good taste wasn’t a consideration, because it wasn’t an option. But peanut butter conquers all.

  7. Kentucky says:

    I was probably nineteen years old before I discovered that spaghetti didn’t come out of a can.

    Took a while to adjust.

  8. Dean says:

    personally,I think all those #10 can’s are overpriced.I’d rather buy spagettio’s and rotate then every few yrs,just for the cost.Beside’s,I like spagettio’s! Call me a sicko….

  9. Joel says:

    You’re a sicko, Dean. Spaghetti-o’s are American Commerce’s way of teaching children about the inbuilt horror and pointlessness of modern existence. Not as bad as canned corned beef hash, which really ought to be banned by UN treaties, but not invocative of rainbows or puppies, either.

    In actual practice, though, I completely agree. My canned goods come in individual servings, carefully rotated and stacked by date.

  10. M Ryan says:

    40 year old mountain house, nice. I was thinking about getting some of these for the dark days that are looming but I’ve been hesitating. The issue for me is the size of the can. So I’m thinking after Christmas I’ll pick up a sample meal and try it. The tip about using a little less water I’ll have to remember. Thanks for playing guinea pig Joel.

To the stake with the heretic!