I know a case when a crew of three people, mom, dad and daughter, going on a world cruise, loaded three whole heads of parmesan on a boat. I don’t know how it survived and how long it sufficed for them, but I think a psychoanalytic analysis would probably reveal the subconscious fear of being far from home or the desire to always have something with you that reminds of home and childhood. In short, Parmesan, like Linus' blanket.
But if you leave psychoanalysis, do stocks of familiar products on a boat, the practice is widespread throughout the world. Olive oil, wine, cheeses and sausages on boats from the Mediterranean, terrible prepared meat and canned goods on boats leaving the UK, and finally kilos of frozen meat, hamburgers and other products made in USA that Americans load aboard.
And no matter how the boat was overloaded when departing, with the miles and passing years, everything gradually ends, the waterline rises, and to replenish supplies you have to look around. One of the most interesting sides of the journey is contact with other cultures and peoples and, as a result, with their cuisine. Gradually, time passes, the house is far and the need makes, you begin to try and look with interest at what others eat there.
In Eritrea, fermented dough is used to make soft cakes, called nghera. At first they reminded us of moldy bread. When we were visiting and having dinner with someone, we tried to hide our disgust and imitated the owners of the house with food. And so, the other day, we noticed that this mildew taste perfectly muted the taste of too hot sauces, which, in turn, drowned out the too coarse taste of local meat. Leaving Eritrea, we took them with half a dozen, although most of them became moldy.
Even further, where the islands begin with palm trees, coconut milk replaces olive oil, both when cooked and raw. We got used to it so much that we sometimes use it in Milan, it is sold in supermarkets as an ingredient for cocktails. We also learned how to cook sago, green papaya, breadfruit, taro, yam, and many other things.
We adapted to everything, or almost, but of course did not get rid of nostalgia for homemade food. Therefore, we have established a tax for those who come to us. Every visitor must bring: a liter of olive oil, a liter of gin, a piece of cheese and a kilo of spaghetti. And if someone wants to add to this chocolate, sausage, piece of cake, cookies and Nutella, we, of course, never mind. Therefore, visits of guests, for us is a double celebration.
Sometimes it happens to go to big cities, such as, for example, Panama, Papeete, Suva, the Australian coast, Bali, Durban and there it is possible to find everything, or almost everything that is necessary. And then there is the problem of placement and storage. In the first place storage, I experienced it on my own experience.
Pasta, rice, flour and dry legumes
Know what combines these products? The fact that they infest worms.
Stocks on the boat are made large, hot, humid, and if the purchases are not made in large centers, all products are usually in natural form, that is, they have not undergone any processing and are full of invisible insect eggs, which eventually turn into worms. These are the larvae of future weevils and other insects inhabiting food. They are not poisonous and not harmful, but seeing them is unpleasant. Everyone, sooner or later, happens to forget the open packet of rice in the depth of the cupboard and discover it, the time ofStew, full of larvae. The usual reaction to this is to throw it in the trash. But I guarantee you that everything is not so in the sea, and your tolerance for larvae and bugs will be directly proportional to the time spent on board and the distance to civilization.
Once on the French boat we were treated to vegetables with polenta. Polenta was full of lumps, inside which were small larvae, still stirring, or so it seemed to me. In the Brazilian boat, we ate rice full of some kind of black inclusions, a bit hard, but they did not harm us. Another time, hungry, we literally pounced on Sudanese bread, fresh from the oven. It was very tasty, and we made a reserve and already on the boat we saw that it was literally stuffed with small brown insects. We carried him to the beach and gave them away to the children. They were happy!
Larvae and small dark insects, harmless bugs, can be separated from pasta, rice and dry beans by rinsing in running water, can be salty. Insects emerge, the rest is not.
It is more difficult with flour, because it is impossible to separate it from organic remains of larvae, and if you use it as it is, a change in taste is noticeable. We tried all the methods on our boat, and each time we watched insects multiply in powerlessness. And this happened regardless of whether the products were bought in a store or in a foul-smelling market, or whether Barilla or De Cecco pasta was brought to us from Italy. In the end, we found a way that has been around for many years. It is very important that insects are not brought out of eggs, which are in pasta, flour and rice, and such genocide is achieved by creating an atmosphere unfavorable to them. To do this, simply place the unopened package in a hermetically sealed bag and enclose a piece of cotton wool soaked in alcohol. Then in the package is formed a medium saturated with alcohol vapor, which dries the eggs. Try it and see.
There are other ways. One Englishwoman kept the flour in a special canister in which she placed a bottle of chlorinated water. I don’t know if there were any worms there, but she gave her bread with bleach. On one of the boats of the Finns, who apparently had a lot of free time, the entire deck was occupied by beans, lentils, peas and rice slides, because the sun was cleansing. They stirred all day and poured them. But I was not able to see for myself the effectiveness of this method. And many do not pay attention to it at all, and then it’s better to go to dinner for them when there is only fish on the menu.
Continuing the topic of storage: if the open package of pasta or dry legumes is not used immediately, it is better to pour the rest into a closed container. Having rejected the plastic jars, which soon become porous, darken and appear dirty, we use glass jars of the Bormoli type, with a screw cap. Covers rust over time, but they are not expensive, take up little space. It is enough to change them, and banks will serve forever.
Usually, the more natural the products, the greater the risk that the larvae will form in them. In the sugar they do not start, but it attracts ants. Bitter cocoa is safe in this sense, whereas in sweet can be got and maggots and ants.
Fruits and vegetables
You can not imagine how many kilograms of fruit and vegetables I threw overboard, sometimes with a sad prospect for weeks not to see anything else. Heat, humidity and cramping are not the greatest friends of fresh fruit, and they avenge such treatment, turning into a soft and fetid rot that can poison the atmosphere throughout the boat.
On the first “Barca Pulita” for vegetables and fruits in the nose were four wonderful stainless steel boxes with perforated walls for air circulation. Something like meI saw on “Tatanai” Rita and Renzo Rousseau, only from plastic. But not all the vehicles provide such things and it is not always possible to arrange them.
Then you have to use different tricks.
When fresh vegetables are on board, the first rule is to control them daily. It’s unthinkable to keep all of them in the fridge, but tomatoes, when they can be found, are worth it. Washed with water and a drop of disinfectant, dried and folded in plastic boxes on absorbent paper backing, they can be stored for several weeks. If there is no place in the refrigerator, it can be stored in any other place, putting them in one layer as much as possible and making sure that they do not roll at each roll of the boat, although they will not last more than a week this way. Carrots in the refrigerator, in perforated bags, also stored longer and remains crispy. For the rest of the vegetables have to be content with the available space, trying to choose the most ventilated places on the boat. You can hang small nets and keep the most resistant fruits there, or wrap everything up with newsprint and place them in the upper level of the hold, but they should remain dry there.
Among fruits, citrus fruits, due to their durable skin, are stored longer than others and can be stored in bulk without risking harm. Separately wrapped with newsprint, lemons and limes are stored for a very long time, you will be surprised how long. One Canadian explained it to us many years ago, but she argued that this was only true for American lemons, which have flawless zest. I assure you that the same is true for lime, which you will find in the markets of third world countries, with slightly tarnished and full of specks of zest. But still, keep them under control. The shortest life of bananas, and to extend it in swimming, you can buy them green. Coming from Canar to the “Vecchietto”, we stocked two bunches of them and dried up the ripest ones, cut them in two pieces and left them on the deck for a couple of days, then folded them in paper bags in the cabinets. We had enough of them before the Carib. It was a wonderful sweet and high-calorie snack on the days of boredom and night hours, but since then we have never repeated this experience.
Apples, too, if they manage to find them, are stored decently.
All other fruits, especially tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple, last only a few days. It is not necessary to save them a lot before a long transition, so that you do not have to throw out a large part. The only exception is papaya. Collected in green, they can be kept in the refrigerator, stored for about ten days. Quite green and still tough, you can use as vegetables, rubbing with a grater and seasoning with butter, salt and lemon, like carrots.
Vegetables are preserved better. Potatoes, for example, can be on the boat for months. It shrivels and germinates, but still remains edible. Before storing, it is better to wash the potatoes one by one from the remnants of the earth, so as not to put the eggs of various insects on the boat and to dry for several hours on the deck, in the sun, so as not to rot. Clean and folded in a dark place onions, garlic and pumpkin stored for a long time. Cabbage can also satisfy your need for greens for a long time if you gradually consume the outer leaves and remove the ones touched by mold. Zucchini, eggplants, peppers and green beans, if kept under control, will last a week.
As for the salad, it is better to do without it, because where (and if) you find it, it is most likely washed in the waste water and there is a risk of contracting hepatitis or salmonellosis.
Remember that going beyond our sea, you will find many new delicacies: sweet potatoes and coconut nuts, taro roots, cassava, sweet chestnuts, jack fruit and durian. In short, a symphony of new forms and tastes. And I must say that not everything can immediately come to taste. We, for example, were disgusted by the durian, an Asian fruit with yellowwith soft pulp and the smell of fried onions. One day we bought a few for filming and left in the cockpit, so as not to groan the entire cabin. The smell is really unpleasant, so much so that throughout the Far East there are signs forbidding bringing durians to hotels, airplanes and buses!
Two days later, as the durian was in the cockpit, having become accustomed to his stench, we decided to try one. The taste is very unusual, reminiscent of fried onions flavored with vanilla, but very interesting. Since then, we always buy durian whenever possible. Unfortunately, it is stored only a few days.
To have fresh greens on board and, accordingly, a source of vitamins, a good idea to germinate seeds. You can germinate soybeans, lentils, beans ... The taste is different, but the final product is always fresh, crisp and rich in salts and vitamins. For this you can use special germinators, which, however, are not always affordable, or simple plastic jars and trays with absorbent paper at the bottom. Seeds are soaked in water for half a day, after which excess water is drained. Seeds are washed a couple of times a day for three to four days. They are ready when the tender sprout begins to make its way on the one hand and the spine on the other. They make a very fresh and delicious salad.
In one of the villages in Tonga, we asked to sell us eggs. The children disappeared into the woods and after a while returned with half a dozen tiny white eggs, for the price of five dollars apiece! This is the price of a chicken. Another time, we collected several eggs from frigate nests. We saw how the fishermen did it. They assured us that the bird would soon lay a new egg. Unfortunately, we did not learn to distinguish between fresh eggs, and those that we collected were all with a formed chick inside.
But in most countries, eggs are easy to buy, as well as easy to store and cook.
The first thing you need to do is bring them to the boat, check them one by one and wash them. Of course, in Milina, Rome or Naples such advice will seem overkill, but it will be very useful when you find yourself far away. So much so that you find that the eggs are not all the same, there are defects on them, they gather together with all that stuck to them and sometimes there are small cracks on the shell. In this case, they will remind you of their existence!
The second operation: throw out the cardboard cassettes in which they were packed, if any. This is a breeding ground for insects: cockroaches and others. Stock up at home with plastic containers in which eggs are sold from us, in a country of well-being, and use them for many years. To keep eggs longer, we lubricate them with a thin layer of vaseline. Thus, the pores of the shell are closed and their shelf life is increased to several months, even in the heat. You just need to remember to periodically turn them so that the yolk does not come in contact with the shell. Another way to make the shell impenetrable, roll them in the ashes and store them in it. Someone drops eggs for ten seconds in boiling water. The white film that forms inside this has the same effect as petroleum jelly or ash, but eggs that are protected in this way are harder to use when you need to separate the white from the yolk. And whenever you need to perform this operation in a hot climate, it is better to put eggs for an hour in the fridge so that the protein, almost liquid from the heat, acquires its consistency.
For many years now we have been using egg powder. We have heard about it for a long time, but we could not buy it anywhere. Brought him to us friend from Switzerland. One tablespoon is equivalent to one egg. In a closed can, the powder can be stored for years. Every time eggs must be mixed with other ingredients, I use egg poresOshok. Yes, dear friends, the eggs with the onions that you liked so much, and the banana pie ... were cooked on egg powder.
Milk and dairy products
If you, having woken up in the morning, cannot do without coffee with milk, there is good news for you: there are no problems with milk. Long-term storage milk is quite suitable for several more months after the expiration of the shelf life and persists even in case of heat. The only problem is taking up a lot of space. It can be replaced by co-centered milk in jars, which can replace both cream, and the volume will decrease by two thirds. Even better, powdered milk. It is sold worldwide, in almost any country, in tin, hermetically sealed cans, and from a kilogram of powder you can get a large amount of milk of desired density.
Cream, in cardboard bags or cans, is also stored for a long time and takes up little space.
For coffee with milk, it would be good to have bread with butter and jam. It is better to store oil in jars and salty, it will not faint. And do not worry, it is not so salty to spoil the taste of jam. And perfect for making sweets, you just do not have to add a pinch of salt to the dough.
Cheese, alas, if you travel far from Italy and France, it is difficult to find. Wrap fresh cheeses with film and keep them in the refrigerator, and they will last longer and avoid the smell of barracks in the boat. The aged cheeses will remain better in vacuum-packed, especially parmizan. Some moisture is released from it, but it is stored for a long time.
There are cheeses that are well tolerated and heat, such as cheddar, sold around the world in cardboard boxes or in cans, camembert or brie, in cans and thin plates. Less often, but in big cities, feta and triangular curds are found. It doesn’t taste very much like cheese, but whatever you want, you cannot have everything. Once in the Canaries we bought Camembert in a can, then we did not have a refrigerator. We ate it in about a year. He changed color, became pink, the taste was, to put it mildly, strange, but I assure you, as an alternative to coconuts and sweet potatoes, it was just wonderful.
Meat and sausages
Sausages on the boat is always much tastier than on land. A piece of bread, a sausage club, a beer glass during a night watch ... but all this is a dream of Mare Nostrum. Outside the Mediterranean, sausages do not make and in many countries they are forbidden to import. And these are not Muslim countries in which, as non-paradoxical, if we explain that this is for personal consumption, they will be allowed to be brought in, but the USA and Australia, as well as the more liberal islands of Fiji. But if you can bring something to the boat, it is always a pleasure. Remember that for sausages, as well as cheese, the time of transportation from the plane to the boat is very important.
Returning to Eritrea by plane, I brought a mascarpone, promised my friends to cook tiramisa.
It was February and the Mascarpone arrived safely in Asmara. But during the trip to Massawa along the winding road of the plateau, it deteriorated. Another time they brought specie with worms to the boat, but in many other cases, ham and pancetta in vacuum-wrapped brightened our lives for months when we were on a fixed diet of fish and rice.
Outside big cities and supermarkets meat is hard to find. And where it is, it is difficult to get the desired piece, it is usually cut poorly and too hard. Sometimes it happens that they give some animal. In Madagascar, for example, a family of fishermen brought us a goat every week.After the first time, they guessed to bring it cut! In Vanuatu, it was possible to buy a pig and in exchange for a head, legs, and entrails, the seller would cut it. In these cases, the refrigerator is simply necessary, without saving nothing.
On Flores, I made three pounds of buffalo fillet. Cooked half, and the other left the next day. But the day was overcast, the solar panels worked poorly, and the next day, opening the refrigerator, I realized that we would not have to eat the fillet soon. The problem is that from the time of slaughter to the sale of meat for too long is warm. For example, do not buy meat on the market after ten in the morning, because if later, it has already been in the heat for too long.
The fish on the yacht must be cleaned immediately, as soon as it is caught, which is not always easy, especially if you forgot to pull out the line when the wind increased. Store it in the refrigerator, in a bowl covered with film, so as not to get the rest. If desired, it can be dried by cutting it into thin strips and hanging it on threads between the cables. Need dry weather day and night. In two days will be ready. Or you can harvest it in oil. I first boil the pieces of fish in water flavored with bay leaf, black pepper and oregano. Boil, remove skin, bones and cartilage and put them tightly in glass jars, pour oil on it, wipe it well and put it on three fingers in a pressure cooker with water for half an hour after the whistle. It is stored for years.
Wine, beer, alcoholic beverages, fresh and sea water
Wine on the boat is stored without problems when it comes to industrial, pasteurized wine. You can use the hold as a cellar, blocking the bottle with pieces of cardboard or in special containers. The same is true for other alcoholic drinks and bottled beers. Canned beer and carbonated drinks in cans are best kept in a dry place. From moisture, a thin layer of aluminum corrodes and there is a risk to fill the boat with the smell of soured beer or to drink the sickening drink from which all the gas came out.
Mineral water, both carbonated and non-carbonated, is stored in sealed bottles for many months. The same bottles can serve for future stocks. It is only important to rinse the bottle with a weak disinfectant solution before each filling and allow it to drain well. You should also handle the bottle before collecting rainwater. Fresh water for drinking, when swimming in a hot climate, should be taken at the rate of two liters per person per day. Sea water, however, can replace or supplement fresh water at different times of life on board. It can be used when cooking, replacing partially fresh water and salt. For pasta, for example, one part of sea water and two fresh water are required.
Finally, try to keep a bottle of gin, rum and possibly Martini or Campari on board. You will need them to celebrate special moments of swimming.
Spices and seasonings.
Condiments have an excellent property, even giving
monotonous food a certain variety. Of course, living here, where supermarkets resemble a symphony orchestra and the local markets are an artist's palette, this may seem strange, but there are places in the world where you can find only coconuts, sweet potatoes and bananas (I think I already talked about this). And if you have not taken care to stock up on the boats of something special, fatigue from the monotony of food you provided.
Sage, bay leaf, oregano as well as thyme and marjoram outside the Mediterranean do not exist, but they are easy to bring from the house in a dry state. Another method of preservation, such as sage, rosemary and bay leaf, grind andx fresh, all together or separately and add fine salt. It turns out flavored salt, it is enough to sprinkle it with fish, and a completely different music.
Also, for a variety of taste, there are many ingredients that are easy to get and easy to store: isanchovy pasta, ketchup, tabasco, mustard, breadcrumbs, tomato paste, capers, olives, olive pate, cucumbers and other pickled vegetables, soy sauce, herbal cubes , anchovies in butter, raisins, various dried fruits, vanilla and bread yeast, dry brewer's yeast, fish glue, potato starch, powdered sugar, concentrated milk. And finally, you can not do pez traditional spices: pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, curry, saffron and red pepper.
Fresh crisp bread, this thing is almost unknown outside the Mediterranean. There you will find sometimes unleavened bread and more often brick. The quality and taste of this bread is different, depending on the country, but always better than nothing.
An ideal place to store it, at the bottom of the refrigerator, packed in two plastic bags, one in the other. So it can last up to two weeks, after which it becomes covered with mold of various colors. If the refrigerator is too small, the bread can be dried in the sun, then packed in paper and plastic bags and folded in the lockers. This removes some of the moisture that promotes mold growth. To keep the bread really long, you need to ask the baker to wait for it. We always did this on “Vecchietto”, but after we had to put together fifty loaves, sliced, toasted, and heaped in Sri Lanka, we abandoned this practice.
Alternatively, bake the bread yourself. Everyone has their own recipes and their own secrets. I baked bread twice a week on Veckietto. Knead dough for at least half an hour, set to reach the sun and it worked out well. However, now, looking at how women in the villages do it, I discovered that it is not at all important to knead the dough for a long time. It is enough to mix flour, water, salt and yeast, and always add a pinch of sugar. It turns out great.
And finally, being in the most remote French colonies, you find a pleasant surprise, hot and crispy baguettes, themselves capable of raising morale to unprecedented heights. It was the baguette that greeted us on the other boats when we arrived at the Marquises. It seemed to be just a mirage.
Keep food safe
Now that food supplies are made, you need to protect them from the encroachments of health services and cockroaches. With the first nothing can be done. As we have said, it is forbidden to import pork into the Muslim countries, sausages, dairy products and fresh vegetables and fruits to the United States, and after problems with mad cow disease and foot-and-mouth disease, all meat products are prohibited from being imported. However, the palm of superiority belongs to Australia. There, the bureaucrats and Quaranteen first climb aboard and inspect the boat in search of fresh vegetables, dairy and meat products, eggs, and any seeds capable of growing. All of these products are confiscated, folded into a black bag and subsequently burned. The cost of the operation, a mandatory payment of 140 AUD. If you arrive at night, during off-hours or holidays, the fee is doubled.
Arriving for the first time in Australia, ten years ago, we knew about it and tried to spend everything that was forbidden to be imported. However, we still had a decent amount of Australian-made milk powder, purchased on Salomon, still sealed. He too was burned, because the very fact of leaving the sacred land with a product leads to its infection!
But not only sanitary authorities attempt food. OneOnce in Kenya, we were handling the bottom, leaning the boat against the pier at low tide. After a few weeks, the boat was full of small, reddish cockroaches of the species Blattella germanica. They were everywhere: in the hold, in the cabinets, in the lockers. In the evenings, we watched in horror at their processions in search of food. We did not know what to do. The answer came on the radio:
- Try boric acid.
Boric acid is sold in pharmacies all over the world in the form of white powder, similar to bicarbonate. It is necessary to mix it with flour, in the proportion of 50 to 50 and put in small small containers, such as cork from plastic bottles. We placed these baits in strategic points: kitchen cabinets, drawers where fruits and vegetables were kept, in places where insects appeared most often. Fifteen days later, there were no more cockroaches on the boat, and since then we have been arranging such bait on the boat for preventive purposes. And we did not see any more cockroaches, razve that when our friend, Franco Pace, brought a souvenir to the boat, could not stand it in quarantine on the deck, and then found two huge cockroaches among the clothes.
Most cockroaches come on board with products or other objects: old cardboard, especially boxes for packing products, may contain many eggs between the corrugations. Fruits and vegetables may contain adult insects and are subject to meticulous control and cleaning. Any item made of straw, wood, leather, a potential breeding ground for insects. Before entering the cabin, leave them for 24 hours on the deck, placing the trap with boric acid inside or sprinkling with insecticidal spray.
Boric acid is harmless to humans and does not harm the surfaces of the boat. I do not know how she destroys cockroaches, but I assure you that she is acting. Unlike mice that gnaw on electrical wiring, cockroaches do not harm the boat or people. Each canteen or food warehouse is complete without them. If their presence does not bother you, you can choose to cohabit with them.
Many years ago, we helped the French navigate the boat through the Panama Canal. The transition lasts two days, and for two days we observed processions of cockroaches on all surfaces of the boat, and worst of all, they were any toys of their four-year-old daughter.