Dining at Burning Man

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Grizelda
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Contact:

Dining at Burning Man

Post by Grizelda » Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:02 pm

I know everybody's taste is different, but I thought it would be interesting to hear what foods worked and didn't work for people at Burning Man. Here are my discoveries from last year:

Delights:

Canned pasta spirals in Fiesta Cheese sauce, heated on the car dashboard.

Slices of sweet, sticky, chewy, soy-based thingies that my friends found in Chinatown. They're little flat, floppy rectangles maybe 1 inch by 2 inches and come in a bag. They called it soy jerky, but I'm pretty sure that isn't the official name. Anybody have a clue what I'm talking about?

Lukewarm water never tasted so good.

Raisin granola bars every day for breakfast.


Disappointments:


Just-add-water backpacker's granola-and-milk-inna-bag. Talk about mealy and revolting!

Bagels. I was told they wouldn't last long, but I'd been hoping for at least a couple days. No such luck; they started going mouldy on Tuesday.

Everything that required even minimal cooking. My camp even had an electric stove, but I never once got around to using it.

Tea from the Centre Camp cafe. The water wasn't quite hot enough.

So what's been your Burning Man dining experience?

ThePikey
Posts: 293
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:41 pm
Contact:

Post by ThePikey » Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:58 pm

Good:
Grilling. Brats, chicken, steaks, pre-poked kabobs.
Sandwich - eat the first day!
Omelets - eggs + pre-chopped veggies + Pikey's secret herbs and spices. With toast and sausage. Surprised the hell outta everyone in the camp one morning as they slowly staggered out of tents and I offered them grubbage.
Sun tea - find a jug at Goodwill for $1.
Olives - nice snacky fingerfood that goes in tupperware well.

Bad:
Some eggs broke - those cardboard egg cartons do not hold up well in a cooler full of ice melt and scads of beers piled on top. I *think* I found a cheap 'n' easy fix for this tho.
With all the grilling, you get tired of the meat-heavy diet.


Also, we had someone coming up later in the week and bring some fresh goodies, stuff that hadn't been sitting in a cooler or out on the playa for too long. That helped.

Janka
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:27 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Post by Janka » Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:01 am

We found that of the canned foods we packed last year, the just-heat chilis were perfect for the place. Eaten with tortillas, just like that. Loads of moisture and spices and stuff. For light lunches, certain canned soups worked - we tended to like the cream based ones for some reason. They are a bit salty for my taste off the playa, but in the heat salt was just a bonus. Of course, if even minimal cooking is a problem, these won't do (we had a little gas camp stove to heat stuff, but did not really cook).

Granola bars and fruit juices and nectars for breakfast were great. Just-add-water pancake mix worked surprisingly nicely too, but I would not do it every morning. And not when it's very windy. :)

robotland
Posts: 3778
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:29 am
Location: Kalamazoo

Post by robotland » Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:24 am

Fruit does okay if bought green or consumed quickly....Oranges do quite well and are very refreshing. Pears, apples and bananas need special care, but can be sliced and frozen. Favorite camping food, playa or otherwise? Dinty Moore beef stew.
Howdy From Kalamazoo

User avatar
AntiM
Moderator
Posts: 20203
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:23 am
Burning Since: 2001
Camp Name: Anti M's Home for Wayward Art
Location: Wild, Wild West
Contact:

Post by AntiM » Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:25 am

Staples:

Tuna in packets - no draining, just rip open, squeeze in a mustard pack, stir and eat.

Instant noodles in a cup - Hot food fast (you need a way to boil water)

For potlucks: instant couscous and seasonings.

Wheat crackers and salty snacks like pretzel and cereal mixes.

Coffee bags, use them much like tea bags, less mess and tastier than instant.

Granola bars!

Wonderful food that requires preplanning:

Frozen raspberries. I freeze them all summer, use disposable plastic containers double-bagged. Just eat whenever, they thaw throughout the week and are tasty at any point of the frozen - thawed continuum.

Stuff I won't bother with again:

Hard boiled eggs get stinky too fast for me.

Pre-baked and frozen teriyaki chicken, very yummy, but I had trouble keeping people out of my frozen foods only ice chest.

Powdered chai, messy.

Canned soups. We always bring them and have yet to eat any.

Fruit sodas. Too sweet in the heat for me, I cannot drink them at all now.

Tafkah
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 10:54 pm

Post by Tafkah » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:55 am

Tasty Bites.

We made a playa dinner for 50 people last year with Tasty Bites. I ordered them from tastybite.com Yummy.

Kinetic IV
Posts: 2977
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:34 pm
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine as of 10/27/06

Post by Kinetic IV » Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:00 pm

I was looking at the Tastybite stuff around here but was leery of trying it. Much of that stuff seems to lack enough spices to taste good.
K-IV
~~~~
Thank you for over 7 years of eplaya memories. I have asked Emily Sparkle to delete my account and I am gone. Goodbye and Goodluck to all of you! I will miss you!

Guest

Post by Guest » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:48 pm

ThePikey wrote:Bad: Some eggs broke - those cardboard egg cartons do not hold up well in a cooler full of ice melt and scads of beers piled on top. I *think* I found a cheap 'n' easy fix for this tho.
Also bad: Loose dry ice in the cooloer driectly on top of things like apples...

ModernShaman
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:45 am

Post by ModernShaman » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:57 pm

Any vegetarians or vegans have suggestions?
With Much Love... <3 ModernShaman

ThePikey
Posts: 293
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:41 pm
Contact:

Post by ThePikey » Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:22 pm

jaydub wrote:Also bad: Loose dry ice in the cooloer driectly on top of things like apples...
Apples, and limes, and that kind of thing?

Ya think?

User avatar
diane o'thirst
Posts: 2092
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:04 pm
Location: Eugene, OR
Contact:

Post by diane o'thirst » Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:22 pm

Quesadillas, with added ingredients or without (we had chicken and pepper quesadillas last year one night)

Soup! Always soup. You have no better friend than soup.

Eggs are surprisingly welcome and do well out there.

Fresh fruit, fresh fruit, fresh fruit. All types. Just go through the bins at Winco or Costco and take one of each. I include melons. Our camp always put the lie to the maintenance that nobody eats melons out there.

Trail mix.

Stuff with orange juice in it. Heck, bring a big bag of oranges, the peels dry out quickly and you can have nice orange potpourri for your tent.

Tortilla chips. Wonderful, wonderful, I always bring a few big bags of those.
[url=http://tinyurl.com/245sagf][img]http://tinyurl.com/2bbr28j/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/23753ws][img]http://tinyurl.com/2auqebj/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/m4y82q][img]http://tinyurl.com/l56rdn/.gif[/img][/url]

Guest

Post by Guest » Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:06 am

ThePikey wrote:
jaydub wrote:Also bad: Loose dry ice in the cooloer driectly on top of things like apples...
Apples, and limes, and that kind of thing?

Ya think?
Yup, them's the one's. But those eggs + pre-chopped veggies + Pikey's secret herbs and spices with toast and sausage were frickin good. You make me again this year, yes?

MissNev
Posts: 284
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:58 am
Location: Sparks, NV

Post by MissNev » Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:40 am

Last year I premade 2 big pans of enchiladas and froze them. They kept my other stuff cold in my cooler until we were ready to eat them. I heated them up in a motor home oven (not mine) and fed my entire camp. Quite yummy. My favorite playa food is probably Scoop corn chips with Philly cream cheese and salsa. On my first day out there, I brought a salad of various canned beans (black, butter, kidney, garbanzo) and Feta cheese with a little caesar dressing. It was very cold and quite tasty in the heat, but I don't think it would have kept past the first day or so. I loved the grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas that my campmates made.

sierrahiker68
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:32 pm
Location: Sacto

FOOD

Post by sierrahiker68 » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:38 pm

Grill anything. I did kabobs of veggies and chicken in teryaki sauce, Grilled brauts with scramlbed eggs for people as they got up, Pasta with sun dried tomatoes.

Deffenate hits. Named camp cook this year :D

bummers: Lettace sucks in the cooler

User avatar
Martiansky
Posts: 3436
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:24 pm
Burning Since: 2005
Camp Name: --->Hushville
Location: Duluth, MN

Post by Martiansky » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:59 pm

Janka wrote:We found that of the canned foods we packed last year, the just-heat chilis were perfect for the place. Eaten with tortillas, just like that. Loads of moisture and spices and stuff.
Just wondering how the tortillas kept? Did they last or get moldy? And was there a particular brand/type that is best?
Thanks for all the great info!!

JRoyale
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Dining at Burning Man

Post by JRoyale » Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:45 pm

Grizelda wrote:Here are my discoveries from last year:
We've got about 30 people in our food pool and our camp has a generator, so I went and brought a cheap freezer off of craigslist ($50), a turkey fryer ($20) and a one of those vacuum bag sealers ($60).

I pre-made all of the dinners we ate on the playa last year, including homemade mac and cheese, stew, lasagna, spaghetti, chili and other stuff. Good stuff and cheap as I bought in bulk from Costco.

I did all the cooking several weeks before leaving for the playa. After I cooked the meal, I vacuum sealed it and froze it. Then, on the playa, I put water in a big 5 gallon pot and fired up the 120,000 BTU turkey fryer and had a pot of boiling water in minutes. Then you just drop in the vacuum sealed bags for about 5 to 10 minutes and dinner is done. Clean up is easy and the food was very very tasty.

User avatar
diane o'thirst
Posts: 2092
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:04 pm
Location: Eugene, OR
Contact:

Post by diane o'thirst » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:57 pm

In my experience, tortillas don't keep for even a day. They turn to crumblies. Whenever we had tortillas in our kitchen, we just made them fresh. They're fast and simple enough and require only a cast iron pan and all-purpose flour. Half-hour from ingredients measure-out to sitting back, contentedly patting stomach.
[url=http://tinyurl.com/245sagf][img]http://tinyurl.com/2bbr28j/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/23753ws][img]http://tinyurl.com/2auqebj/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/m4y82q][img]http://tinyurl.com/l56rdn/.gif[/img][/url]

Janka
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:27 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Post by Janka » Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:45 am

Just wondering how the tortillas kept? Did they last or get moldy? And was there a particular brand/type that is best?
The lasted very well. I don't remember the brand, but they were those that type that come about 10 or so in a ziplock back, and corn, not wheat (though I doubt that matters). Once you opened the bag, they started to dry from the edges, no matter how carefully we tried to close it, but even the dried ones were still edible the next day (just messy with chili since they broke ;)). Closed bags kept for a week without problems.

User avatar
Martiansky
Posts: 3436
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:24 pm
Burning Since: 2005
Camp Name: --->Hushville
Location: Duluth, MN

Post by Martiansky » Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:16 pm

Did you have to keep the tortillas chilled? HHMMM....... I wonder if there is a difference between corn and flour tortilla shells as far as shelf life?

I'd love a recipe for tortilla shells if someone has one!

synchronicity
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:50 pm
Location: beyond the ether

Post by synchronicity » Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:25 pm

Corn live the best. Buy the most traditional that you can find.
If they get dry, they become chips. If they become too damp, they are a mess. A little moisture, a paper towel, and a ziplock can rejuvinate them on the dashboard. They are hard to make at home.
Here in the Southwest, there is an incredible variety available at the grocery store. Best is to find a taqueria. Does your area have any areas with a Hispanic population?
Has anyone else found any MRE favorites? The vegetarian are actually quite good with a little added spice. Find the ones made to be distributed to Indigenous people. The crackers are also quite good. The packaging is the only negative, but they will be edible - and free of sand by the last day.

(edited to add content)
"I never know when I'm on the road to oblivion, I only know when I arrive."

Janka
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:27 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Post by Janka » Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:07 am

No, we didn't keep the tortillas in the cooler. They were in this plastic box (just a box, not even a cooler) we had most of our foods and our butane and whatnot in, which we tried to keep in the shade, but did not put ice in.

iamtonynyc
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:33 am
Location: new york city
Contact:

Post by iamtonynyc » Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:20 pm

last year i brought a bunch of pasta and here's the trick of tricks. i took around 2 hours and boiled it all at once, cooled it and put it in ziplock bags with a about a table spoon of olive oil and stored it in my cooler. the cooling and oil keep it from becoming one big clump. so when ever i needed some pasta i would simply scoop some out, top it off with sauce from a jar and i didn't have to wait around for the water to boil forever.

peace!

User avatar
geekster
Posts: 4867
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing
Contact:

Post by geekster » Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:31 pm

Potatoes and onions in their mesh bags keep well. Bell or Anaheim peppers will keep in the shade in a bag too for several days. All they need is shade. You can make an awesome yummy meal with potatos, onions, peppers and that beef sausage that comes in the vacuum packs that looks sorta like kielbasa. It is fuckin righteous.

Canned stuff works well, as someone mentioned earlier ... dinty moore stew. It is salty and you need salt out there. I will vouch for apples and oranges working well. Don't waste your time with melon and soft fruits like peaches or plums unless you are going to handle them special and gift them out.

Get some Morton Lite Salt as this is a 50-50 mixture of sodium chloride and potassium chloride. You are gonna need more calcuim too so bring cheese or sardines or other canned fish with the bones in.

Oh and don't forget fiber. Being constipated on the playa is no fun. Nuts are good for that as are dried fruit.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

User avatar
Eric
Moderator
Posts: 9358
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:45 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: BRC Weekly
Contact:

Post by Eric » Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:19 pm

ModernShaman wrote:Any vegetarians or vegans have suggestions?
I use the Tasty Bite vegetarian curry stuff as a staple. Too lazy to cook rice out there, so you can either pre-make & keep in small sealed zip-lock bags in your cooler (I use the PissClear RV fridge), or just use tortilla chips to scoop up the curry.

Frozen Trader Joes bean & veggie burritos are great, and I always have a stash of Bubbies Kosher Dill Pickles & Bubbies Saurkraut. I will only eat Bubbies, as they don't use vinegar or crap in them- just brine & spices. I can't stand the vinegar versions 'cause I love to drink the pickle juice after I eat all the pickles. Yum!

Apples & Oranges (as has been said alot)

Any veggies you plan on bringing should be pre-cut & frozen.

If you can't abide by a week of camp-food, pre-make your favorite thing and freeze it, eat it mid-week to give yourself a break.

Hope this helps some
It's a camping trip in the desert, not the redemption of the fallen world - Cryptofishist

Regarding Scammers & Scalpers
Please read above link for all official information.

Eric ShutterSlut
Ass't Editor, BRC Weekly

chineseobelisk
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 2:08 pm
Location: Idaho

Post by chineseobelisk » Sun Apr 17, 2005 3:23 pm

re/ Tasty Bites

If you live anywhere there might be a real east indian store look for similar meals by Ashoka. They have like two dozen differrent curries and rices for less than half the price of TB's. I found them for $1.50 in Boise.

My other favorite playa food was a beverage, I made tons of Thai iced tea and froze it in Gatorade bottles filling the coolers with those instead of ice blocks. Less messy and infinitely tastier than cooler meltwater.


If I may add one more thing...I lined a Coleman extreme cooler with a space blanket and the wrapped another space blanket around the cooler and by Friday we still had partially frozen burritos and samosas and' of course' thai teas.
measuring the weight of smoke

robotland
Posts: 3778
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:29 am
Location: Kalamazoo

Post by robotland » Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:20 am

Smoked Oysters!!!!!
Howdy From Kalamazoo

User avatar
AntiM
Moderator
Posts: 20203
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:23 am
Burning Since: 2001
Camp Name: Anti M's Home for Wayward Art
Location: Wild, Wild West
Contact:

Post by AntiM » Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:42 am

I had extra quilted fabric and faux fur so I made cooler cozies (fitted pull-on covers). We also throw our extra ponchos/blankets over the coolers and keep them out of direct sunlight. Helps keep things cold cold cold.

Ice cold boxes of orange juice really hit the spot mid-week. Now that pouch drinks are available in all juice, freeze them, they're great to grab a handful to carry around on the bike all day.

hunter S
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:08 pm
Location: Playa San Jore MX.
Contact:

Post by hunter S » Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:50 am

Small caned Ham with can of peaches & dryed unraised bisckets. Lots of salt in ham, juise from peaches sofens bisckets, fast because ham is pre cooked.
Objects behind you may appeare larger than reality!

User avatar
Tiara
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2003 2:07 pm
Location: Richmond CA
Contact:

Post by Tiara » Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:30 pm

To go with boil-a-meal entrees like Tasty Bites, you can get boil-in-bag rice. A portion of rice comes in a perforated plastic bag. They take 10 minutes to cook. One pot meal: boil water, add rice bag, 5 minutes later add Tasty Bite pouch, 5 minutes later, tear open pouches and eat.

Two brands I've found that offer boil-in-bag rice are: Success Rice, and Uncle Ben's.

User avatar
Karma
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 10:33 am
Location: Lake Forest, Ca

Post by Karma » Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:49 pm

For the last 4 out of 6 years, Ive taken advantage of those food saver vacuum sealers. I have Rib eye steaks, BBQ chicken (chicken is fully cooked via boiling b/4 theyre sealed up) and BBQ ribs most every night on the Playa. As long as the cooler stays Iced, the above meats are good to go. Dont have to worry about anything leaking into the cooler water and when we tear open the steaks on Sat for our pre-burn feast, theyre like I pulled em outta the fridge.

As for other items, Flour Tortillas !!!
You can do quesadillas, burritos or just munch em plain for a quick stomach filler.
Canned Chili's kick ass.

For eggs, I just bring Eggbeaters. They come in little milk carton containers, they last great in the cooler (seal the containers in a ziploc for added safety) , and I'll make everything from Omelettes to Chorizo with em.

Mac and Cheese. Make em at home, seal em in a food saver bag and when your ready to make em on the Playa, just toss the bag in a pot of Boiling water for 5 minutes...... Perfect ! (The bags are boilable)

Lots of water, gatorade, OJ and if you want milk, get the little kid cartons. They come in those sealed boxes that you jab a straw into to drink. Wont go bad, you dont even have to keep em in the cooler (but why would'nt you ?)
Canned fruit cocktail, Canned Pineapple, Campbells CNS.

LOTS of string cheese, not only makes a great quick snack but also a great Playa gift. lol

Thats my camp menu for the most part.

Oh ya ! Baked Potatoes. Just clean em and cut em open at home, dig out a little hole in the middle for some butter, seal em in a food saver pouch and when ready, throw em in bag and all in a pot of boiling water for 30
minutes or so. Tasty !

Bon Appetit !

Karma.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh".

Voltaire

Post Reply

Return to “Food & Drink”