In Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, he advises readers not to fuel their bodies at the same place they fuel their vehicles. In my daily life, I tend to follow this advice. No good can come from eating a Polish dog that's been circulating on a convenience store roaster all day and washing it down with a 48 ounce fountain drink. However, during a road trip, I tend to chuck this advice out the window. Eating whatever the hell I want is part of the charm of being on the road.
- Beef Jerky: This is the perfect food to help me maintain my High Plains Drifter persona.
- Peanut M & M's: I like to store them in the cooler, so that they're nice and chilled when I pop them in my mouth.
- Soft Serve Ice Cream and Shakes
- Regional Specialities: Whoopie Pies in Maine. Boudin in Louisiana. Tillamook Cheese. You get the idea.
- Chili Cheese Fritos or Cheetoes: It's always nice to have a salty ying to complement the sugary yang. Although, if I'm driving, I can't eat either of these snacks. I can't stand the way they leave the steering wheel with an oily sheen. It drives me nuts!
Honorable Mention: Twizzlers. Yes, I have a sweet tooth!
As I grow older, I practice a little more restraint when I'm eating on the road. Experience has taught me well. During a 2004 trip to coastal Maine, I consumed 2-3 Whoopie Pies a day in for an entire week and gained about eight pounds Now I exercise a little more will power. On our drive to Nebraska, I only indulged in one of the above treats; we stopped at the Dairy Queen in Colby, Kansas, and I ordered a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone.
Now I'm trying to perfect the art of eating a driving. Typically, when I eat and drive, my shirt usually ends up resembling a Jackson Pollack painting by the time we reach our destination. I know that when my daughter reaches her teens that this might embarrass her.
What's your favorite road snacks?
The road goes on forever,