General Discussion

What Food Would You Send to a Remote Island?


General Discussion 45

What Food Would You Send to a Remote Island?

Jim Leff | Jun 29, 2002 03:11 PM

This, believe it or not, is not a hypothetical question.

I have a big interest in Tristan de Cunha, the most remote island in the world (halfway between Capetown and South America, in the South Atlantic). In fact, if I ever disappear, you might inquire for me there.

The population consists of about 300 people, descendents of Brits who alit there back in the early 1800's, and dress, language, and customs still recall the early Victorian era. There are seven family names on the island; everyone has one of these names: Glass, Green, Hagan, Laverello, Repetto, Rogers or Swain. They wear thick wool socks, and there are penguins. It's extremely hard to get to, and everyone's nice. There was an off-Broadway play loosely about Tristan called "Further than the Furthest Thing" (by Zinnie Harris).

The islanders are getting more items shipped in these days, but their natural diet is potatoes, crawfish, and lobster. They even eat potatoes raw! And they grow them a few miles from town, in a farm called "Patches". Patches is pretty idyllic. Potatoes are very important on Tristan, and, as some of you know, I really love potatoes.

I could go on and on, but instead I've created a page with links to Tristan web sites (many with photos) so you can read up for yourself. Use link below.

But here's the thing: I've had an email exchange with the Chief Islander, Mr. Glass, who's offered to send me his wife's potato recipes. I will, of course, provide them here as soon as they come in (with Mrs. Glass' permission, of course!).

But two questions:

1. I want to send them back a potato cookbook, so they can get some new ideas. I've seen various potato cookbooks, but didn't love any of them. Does anyone have a suggestion? An out of print one would be fine...I'll just search for it.

2. I want to also send some non-perishable food items for them to try. Wild, great sorts of things they'd otherwise never encounter. Obviously, shipping weight is a factor (same for the cookbook...I'm not sending them, for example, "How to Cook Everything!"). I'll send Kettle Chips (they're very well packaged...I'm sure they'll stay fresh), I'll probably also send some Busha Browne's Original Banana Chutney, which I love (and goes great on boiled potatoes. What are some other things (especially small things) I could send along? This is sort of like a time capsule which people will get to open right away!



Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound