Thursday, March 15, 2007

A gastronomical experience

With only 2 weeks left until we leave Longyearbyen, the expedition preparation has stepped up another couple of gears. We have taken over a whole house in Longyearbyen, working full-time on preparing the expedition food and delivering it to the various food depots.

We would not be able to manage this phenomenal job without the aid of our helpers from the University of Svalbard and elsewhere. Thanks a lot girls and guys, for the help and the company! And yeah, if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, of course we still need your help ;) Stickers provided…

Just imagine this: 5 people, 80 days, one bag for lunch. That’s 400 bags of “lunch-ration” (named Jager-snus by Mats and other Scandinavians), and almost 4 days worth of work. It feels somewhat industrial to mix 60 kgs of chocolate with 30 kgs of nuts, lots of dried fruit and plenty of crusli. Especially if you do it in a scooter-box! And I don’t even mention the breakfast, that needs to be mixed in a similar fashion but in two different amounts (one of our tents will sleep 2 people, the other one 3). What a mess! Still, at least it makes you appreciate the amount of food that one person is capable of eating over a period of one whole year. It’s a lot!

Finally, my favourite moment of food-packing. This has got to be the breaking up of chocolate bars using a hammer and chisel. The idea behind this is that all the chocolate needs to be in bite-sized chunks, since chocolate has to be one of the things that freezes first. And there’s nothing worse than not being able to bite off that well-deserved chunk of your favourite chocolate!


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