James Borrell is a biodiversity scientist and science communicator researching how people and nature can adapt to environmental change.

The Best and Worst Expedition Food

For those that know me, you’ll know I like to dabble in the kitchen. That too extends to expeditions in the field, although I can’t comment on my ability, most others aren’t alive to do so now either. Despite limited resources and challenging conditions, it’s astounding quite what marvels I’ve witnessed people create on expeditions. Here’s a run down of the best, worst and everything in between.

Best – Bread, simply amazing, ranging from thin delicate flat breads cooked on hot stones, to deep rustic loves made in the embers of the camp fire. A simple, but wonderful expedition food.

Inventive – Cakes, cakes, cakes – You can put the English in deserts, mountains, jungles or on oceans, and they will always manage to rustle up a cake. A highlight was the pineapple upside-down variety in Madagascar which was raved about for weeks afterwards.

Refined – Lobster on the beach, at the insistence of local fisherman. Life could have been worse.

Strangest – Piranha, freshly caught of course, and actually wonderfully tasty (picture above).

Regretted – The ‘Admirals’ all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, after a month on dehydrated rations. Best described as a catastrophic error of judgement.

Addictive – Sugar cane, the reason everyone walks around with a machete.

Worst – Turtles eggs, I’m not sure who decided they should be revered as a delicacy. (P.S. Ours were the unfertilised unendangered kind).

What have been your best and worst expedition food experiences?

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