Don’t forget to check out an important update at the bottom of this post!
I hadn’t really heard of GoPicnic until I heard them mentioned on Twitter a couple weeks ago. When I checked out their website I thought, “Cool, I’d like to try those sometime” and then promptly forgot all about it. That is, until I was in Target last weekend and did a double-take as I noticed them on the shelf.
The first thing you might notice, or at least the first think I noticed, was the price. At $4.99 each on their website, I can certainly think of many more economical meals. Fortunately for me when I bought mine at target it was $3.99, and if you buy their variety packs they are cheaper than buying individually as well. Cheaper yet are their products listed on Amazon.com
When Saturday rolled around the perfect Spring weather beckoned me to the local park. I decided to take GoPicnic’s advice, and went on a picnic.
- Wild Garden Hummus Dip
- Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers
- Sweet Perry Orchards Baja Blend Fruit & Nut Mix
- Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame
- Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Square
Finally, here’s an example of what happens when you leave chocolate out in the warm sun.
My boyfriend and I tried the Crunchmaster crackers with hummus first. At first bite, the chips were a little bland to me and seemed like they needed salt. However, once I started chewing the flavor of the various seeds came through and gave it a very pleasant, nutty taste. The hummus surprised me with distinct flavors of lemon and cumin. My boyfriend said it reminded him of tacos. The combination of the crackers and hummus was very nice, and the portion of hummus was generous as I had extra to spare at the end.
Next we tried the fruit & nut mix. This was my favorite part of the meal. It was both sweet and slightly spicy, but not spicy enough to be uncomfortable. The habañera almonds were what provided the kick, the mango cranberries added the sweetness and the sweet & salty peanuts helped to round it out. My boyfriend said it tasted like a “party in my mouth“. I want more of this!
The dry roasted edamame tasted exactly like what I expected it to. They’re easily snackable and crunchy, though be advised they did dry my mouth out a bit. I would definitely recommend that you have a drink nearby when you’re munching on these.
Provided for dessert was the square of dark chocolate, easily shared with another person. It was perfect, which was no surprise to me since I’ve always been a fan of Endangered Species chocolate (dark chocolate with raspberries is my fav).
Overall I think this is a great product, as long as you have something ready to drink alongside the edamame in this particular pack. While the price would probably prevent me from making this a regular staple in my pantry, I definitely see this having a place in your emergency kit, travel bag, or I-don’t-know-wtf-is-going-on-today purse.
GoPicnic has a variety of shelf-stable meals-to-go, and not all of them are gluten-free. Check out their list of gluten-free meals to see what’s available.
Important! Read below:
UPDATE 4/23 5:06pm: @EastBayCeliac notified me via twitter that the fruit & nut mix was processed on shared equipment with wheat. If you visit the product page and scroll ALL the way to the bottom you’ll see: “Fruit & Nut Mix: Contains: tree nuts (almonds) and peanuts. Shares equipment with peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, milk-containing products, wheat and soy. ” I am shocked that I didn’t notice this before, and I have sent the company an email to inquire about how they can guarantee gluten-free status when there is a risk of cross-contamination.
It’s important to note that I personally did not suffer any ill effect, and I haven’t heard of anyone else falling ill either. The nuts may very well be safe, but I don’t like being unsure about it or endorsing something I am unsure about. I’ll keep this post updated when I get a response to my email.
4/23 5:15pm: Well, that was fast! I got a response from GoPicnic which basically boils down to “We follow the proposed FDA regulations, each item has been tested and approved as safe”.
To read the full email, click here.
So, what does this mean, is it safe to eat? This will be up to you. Some people are more sensitive to gluten than others, and some people feel the proposed FDA regulations are enough. Others do not share this belief. I wish I could give you a concrete medical ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but I cannot. Those nuts were tasty, though.