If an army travels on its stomach, then there is an army of trampers on Te Araroa. Everyone out here has a favorite food and finds a way to slip into their pack the treats that make pounding out the kilometers that much more rewarding.
You’re definitely a hungry tramper when you see food in a ditch and your first thought is “are those apples still good?” It’s amazing how little things bring joy to a tramper’s heart. My current craving is definitely fruit. At Utea Park, I thoroughly enjoyed the fruit smoothie made by Tania. Now I find myself in search of orange juice at every town stop I come to.
I’ve also learned that here in New Zealand eggs are not refrigerated. Imagine my surprise when I’m walking down the aisle at the grocery store and there sits a whole section of eggs! This has revolutionized my trail diet to a small degree. If I’m going to be in town and grocery shopping, I can pickup a half dozen eggs and enjoy eggs for dinner and breakfast!
I’ve also learned the value of spices. In the US, I’ve always cooked with ‘just add water’ types of foods. Occasionally Mountain House or Backpacker Pantry meals on short weekend trips and ramen and instant potatoes on longer trips. Here in New Zealand, I’ve discovered dried peas, amazing soups, rice dishes, and several other choices that require little cooking and, with a few spices, turn into outstanding meals.
Finally, anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love Hershey’s chocolate. As I was researching Te Araroa, I kept seeing references to Whitaker’s chocolate. Apparently it is a New Zealand brand and I must say after trying it, it is very, very good but not quite as good as Hershey’s. It will, however, keep my chocolate cravings in check while I am tramping New Zealand.
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