A few weeks ago while my folks were in town, we were at the local kosher supermarket, and I saw a display of La Briute self-heating meals. I've heard of them, but haven't seen any before. I got a box of their Cheese Ravioli. The meal is packed so that you don't need to keep it refridgerated at all. And it is supposed to be self heating. The expiration date is 12/2010, so it keeps for a while!
I left it at work for a day when I forgot to make or bring my lunch. That happened earlier this week.
It took a few minutes to figure out how it all worked, but next time it'll be really quick. I was also surprised at how much was in the box, I thought would be just the ravioli. There was also a package of oatmeal cookies and a packet of soup broth. If I had a cup, I could have made myself some soup. (that part is not self heating... I would need to boil some water) They also included a fork, knife and spoon, plus some salt and pepper. The napkin was kind of wimpy (fortunately I keep some napkins in my office) but they make up for it with a "moist towelette."
Anyway, I place the sealed package of ravioli in a bag that has a heating element made of magnesium and iron. Then I pour in some salt water (they provide the pack of salt water) and close up the bag and set it down. Yikes, you can see the water start to boil up quickly and steam comes out of the bag. I let it go for about 10 minutes, I probably should have given it another minute or two, it was hot, but could have used a tad more.
Anyway, I (carefully) took the package of ravioli out of the bag (hot!), and opened it up. There were five large cheese raviolis. Okay for lunch, but if I were really hungry I'd want more. (although the soup could have taken the edge off my hunger if I had it...)
The ravioli was good. I wouldn't say the best I've had, but it was good.
Their meals are Chlov Yisrael, Glatt Kosher, or parve. They actually have a pretty good selection on their website, and it's cheaper on the website than it was at the supermarket. I'll have to check their shipping rate.
Anyway, I wouldn't use it for day to day use, but I could see leaving a few packages at work for times I forget to bring something, or if the group is going out somewhere and I don't want to lug along a peanut butter and jeally sandwich. It will also be useful for trips out of town, such as when I go to the Ride to Remember in Omaha, or my upcoming college reunion.
And yes, Blogger-in-law, I know I wouldn't need something like this in Israel, as there is plenty of Kosher food thoughout. ;-)