Monday, June 13, 2011

Bread, Cheese, and Fruit (Lather, Rinse, Repeat)

I've always been one to bring emergency rations with me, even before celiac. I'm one of those people that just does not do well when hungry (MASSIVE understatement, as family and longtime friends can attest to). Over the years, I've become really good at making sure I have something - anything - to snack on, even if it's just a bar or some nuts and dried fruit. Now that I have celiac, this is imperative - especially with summer here, and so many daytime outings on the roster. I always make sure I eat a decent meal before heading out, and then pack an appropriate snack. This past weekend I went to the Renegade Craft Fair in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with a friend. This is what I packed:

Carbs, fruit, and utensil.

Many years ago, on my first trip to Europe, I learned that - in a pinch - fruit, bread, and cheese can sub for any meal, any time. A little savory, a little sweet - with some fat, fiber, and protein - and you're good until a hot meal can be found. The bit of advice works beautifully with my GF life. When I'm going to be out for more than a couple of hours, I pack a fruit (in this case, grapes), crackers/bread, and usually a utensil. This day in age, you can usually find individually wrapped cheeses (string, Cracker Barrel, etc.) or even some cottage cheese at most delis, bodegas, grocery stores. If I find a decent deli (i.e. one that carries Boar's Head products), I'll get a scant 1/4 lb of meat and/or cheese if I need something solid.

My go-to list for the fruit and carbs are:

*Fresh grapes or berries, in tupperware and secured in a plastic shopping bag, to prevent leakage.
*Unsulphured apricots from Whole Foods. (Their store brand of Turkish apricots is amazing - and cheap!)

*An Udi's bagel (Doesn't need to be toasted. Serves as a sandwich base or a great dipping carb for hummus, etc.)
*These Italian crackers that I recently bought at G-Free NYC:

Bravo! Molto bene!

They are THE most delicious GF cracker I have ever encountered. Think saltine, but less dense. Like a butter cracker, but less hearty. They are just so good. They come in packs of four and have, thus far, traveled very well in my purse.
*Sesame crackers from Trader Joe's. About $1.69 a sleeve and very flavorful. Only downside: that flavor comes with a strong sesame odor that has made heads turn in subway cars and cabs. Kind of an open-air-only snack.

To be honest, I also usually add something sweet, especially when I'll be with friends who are likely to consume sweet treats at our outing. A hunk of good chocolate is my go-to. This weekend, I grabbed one of these from Sun In Bloom on my way to the subway:

Yes, they ARE that good.

What are your on-the-go essentials?

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