Editorial June 2009 Issue

Riffin’ on Foods that Need No Fridge

You might be surprised how well you can eat fresh without a fridge, even in the tropics. Onions and potatoes will keep for weeks (but not together, please). Lemons, limes, and oranges—especially those with thick skins—will survive for weeks. Fresh green tomatoes shrug off lumpy seas and still ripen nicely. Bananas don’t like cold to begin with. Hang a green bunch from the backstay, and they’re happy. Be ready, though. They ripen fast . . . banana bread for breakfast! Rice and beans offer simple sustenance. Wrap them in a homemade tortilla, add a little hot sauce, and it’s Mexican Night. Wax balls of cheese, Parmesan wheels, and long sausage links turn the galley into a deli. Breadfruit is a born voyager, but taste best cooked over an open fire. (Baking is the safer choice while underway.) Coconuts last ages, but husk them ashore, where a long stake and machete can be wielded without harm. Big purple mangoes are hardier than the yellow varieties. Pick them when they bear a tinge of purple. There’s a secret to ripening a green papaya. (Tell me if you know what it is!) Or you can and shave a green one into a fiery Thai curry.

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