We received a somewhat strange question related to adventure traveling today:
“What do you guys eat along the road? I can imagine it not being easy to find food everywhere?”
Well, to be honest, we don’t really worry too much about that. If locals can source food, we will for sure be able to do so too. You won’t find a supermarket on every corner of the street, but every village, no matter how small, has some kind of food available. Even if it were only dry bread… But we also have our little emergency stash in our panniers, especially when we ride piste. You never know what is going to happen during a long ride in the middle of nowhere. It won’t be the first time we unexpectedly have to spend the night somewhere.
Below you will find our top 5 of foods you can easily carry, that don’t require too much of an effort to prepare and that will keep your energy levels up. That it isn’t always ‘haute cuisine’ should be the least of your worries.
1. La vache qui rit, The laughing cow
From Iran to Morocco, Iceland, South America,… we have had cheese spread everywhere! It has one major advantage: you don’t need to keep it cool. A bit of ‘La vache qui rit’ on a piece of bread you buy along the road can taste divine if there’s nothing else around.
Dry pasta, couscous or rice should always be in your panniers. Starch can give you the required energy boost after a long riding day on the piste. Most of the time we choose pasta. Not so because it tastes better but because it takes little time to cook when you choose the right type. Couscous has the advantage of requiring very little water to prepare compared to pasta or rice.
Now this is only important to us because we are real coffee drinkers. Nothing is more comforting than a good cup of hot coffee in front of your tent when you are staring at the sunrise in the morning. Don’t expect slow brewed flavorful coffee or even Nespresso cups in the middle of nowhere. Tasteless flat brownish liquid is the standard, unfortunately… Instant coffee lets you decide the strength of your own cup without too much fuss.
We are not real carnivores so most of the time we go for tuna instead of meat. It combines lovely with the pasta or with a vegetable dish, but you might as well eat it straight from the can. If there’s no tuna around, sardines are a great alternative that you will find even in the remotest of places.
5. Ready-to-eat canned food
Despite the fact that – just like at home – we prefer healthy food on our trips, we always have a few cans in our luggage. Ravioli, meatballs in rich gravy, beans in tomato sauce, … They’re not always the tastiest of foods but I can assure you they do come in handy at times. Emergency stash is a must for those unforeseen situations. The only problem here is their availability in remote areas.
And of course one should always carry enough water. Water to drink but also to cook if needed. We once ran out of water in the Skeleton Coast Desert in Namibia and I can assure you: this won’t happen again!