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Desert Island Chowhound

You're shipwrecked, only instead of music, you get to bring food with you. The food has to be long-lasting, and portable (gotta get it to the island) What do you bring? Assume the island has some produce, basic meats, and not a lot else.

I live in Bangladesh and at least 1/2 of my alloted luggage weight is taken up bringing supplies back from the States. My staples are a 4-5 wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano, sausages, spices from Penzeys or The Spice House, dried fruits and nuts, good chocolate, and exotic booze. This trip home I am going to experiment with a frozen food box and a whole lot of pork.

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  1. Cases of Veuve Cliquot! Who needs to bring food with basic produce and meats!

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    1. I've been on that island for 35 years and have the list down: Japanese rice, nori, gari, hondashi, aburage, wasabe, wakame, canned toasted eel, toasted sesame oil, MasaSeca/Harina, dried chiles, spices (Nairobi and India), Oaxaca cheese, dried corn husks, Parm reg and Pec Romano cheeses, sticky rice (Lao), Fish sauces, Kikkoman, oyster and Hoisin sauces, Japanese & Chinese pickled vegetables, peanut butter, anchovies, fresh tortillas (if DF - Cali), dried African game meat, ...

      1. hmmm assuming some of the meats were animals once, I am allowed to assume that some of them are milk producing, so that takes care of the cheese. Check. I'm also assuming there are a few hens of some sort going, for eggs.

        I am also going to assume that with there being produce, there is fruit to make some form of alcohol. Check check.

        My island also has coconuts for milk and meat. Oh and, nuts also grow there. Check, double check.

        A few legume varieties thrive here....so good on that account.

        hmmmm...mostly then, i'd want some spice blends and pastes. And as all this hunting and gathering is going to take some extra energy, i'll need some carbs. Doesn't take much water or heat to make couscous....so off I go with a massive bag of that.

        1 Reply
        1. re: im_nomad

          Desert equals hot equals no cheese. But yeah, couscous is a good idea!

        2. hmmm... Lemme see... desert island... Are there sticks on the desert island? If there are, I know how to make my own sea salt. Learned how in 2nd grade. No sticks, then I'll take bunches of sea salt and kosher salt.

          "Basic meats"? Do they go moo? And snort? Then some renet to make cheese, a churn to make butter, and lots of really great robust reds for cooking and drinking, and some cognac for ditto.

          A couple of cases of various herbs and spices. Some flour or a flour mill. Bulgur. Rice. Pasta. A small easily assembled desalinization plant...

          Wait!

          Do we get to choose our own desert island?

          We do?

          Okay, I choose Bahrain! And forget all the stuff above. Just gimme a few trunks full of money and I'm a fat cat in Fat Cat City! '-)

          1. i think i need a little more clarification on the rules, too. ;)

            but knowing little else (about whether there's refrigeration, etc...) i'd float me a whole battalion of watermelons to my island. wonderfully thirst quenching. and if there's sandy soil to be had on the island, i'll be sure to grow some more melons for future consumption.

            if there's vegetation on the island, i'd float over a goat. they're hardy and can eat almost anything and i really like goat's milk / cheese. plus, they make for good company.

            since i think you're probably analogizing to a real world example, how about bringing back packets of pectin (for homemade jams) and yeast? what spices can you find at penzey's that you can't find in bangladesh? (herbs, i'd understand.) if you like smoked salmon / trout / other fish, i might import some of that, too. agree that imported booze is a must. i haven't been to bangladesh, but i dont' think i found a single non-imported liquor i could really choke down without a lot of juice to hide the flavor in india or pakistan. blech.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cimui

              Goats and good watermelons, Tajikistan is the place for you!

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                i'm completely sold. my goats will be specially bred to eat everything *except* watermelon plants, by the way!