Te Araroa Trail fresh food
Having completed the TA in 2012 I thought it might be a good time to review some of the most successful meals that I cooked on the trail. My food plan was always simple – fresh is best. Yes, I think most people are surprised to hear that apart from a few long sections in the South Island (8 to 10 days) most of the meals I prepared on the Te Araroa Trail had some element of fresh food in the recipe. That is not to say that you can buy fresh every day, but generally most walkers are able to pick up something fresh, either from small shop or garage in smaller towns or from roadside farm gate stalls along the way, particularly in the North Island. The trick I found most useful was to carry enough basic staple foodstuffs; rice, pasta, soup mix, dried fruit and nuts, to supplement the fresh food items I picked up along my journey. The most common fresh foods at roadside stalls were generally fruit and vegetables. While potatoes, pumpkin and kumera were all a bit too heavy, the smaller vegetables like green beans, spring onions, along with the odd tomato and red pepper made a great addition to my evening meal. These I often crafted into interesting stir fry, risotto or pasta combos. It is amazing just how many different meals you can get out of a few basic veggies.