Reverse-Engineering Foodstuffs

01 December 2006

art food opensource

gorp.jpgI like snack.

At the supermarket, they have a variety of trail-mixes available, which I buy even though I seldom walk on trails. Even within a single species of mix, there can be good tubs, excellent tubs, and downright crappy tubs. I start to get the feeling that trail-mix mixing is more of an art than a recipe, but I haven't identified which trail-mix chef makes the best.

I figure I've learned how to make pies bread, and I can smoke a pretty good turkey, I might as well try my hand at some trail-mix, also known as GORP. Now, some would claim that "GORP" stands for "Good Ol' Raisins and Peanuts" but really it's a red-herring, as you shall see.

I sat down with a tub of store brand trail-mix and analyzed the components. I publish them here now as open-source trail-mix. Feel free to use it in your own endeavors, even in a commercial setting (it's BSD licensed).

Start with a large zip-top bag, perhaps the gallon size.

Now, add some peanuts to the bag. Shake well (you want the peanuts to mix well with the other peanuts. Nut cliques are bad).

Then, add some raisins. Add enough so that the peanuts no longer feel superior in their majority. Take those nuts down a notch and make'em learn to live with others.

Now, you might think you're done, given what GORP supposedly stands for.

You're not.

After close analysis, I determined that the secret ingredient in a good trail-mix is actually M's. Add some. Add some more. Shake the bag.

Now, perhaps you are done. Unless you're in California, in which case I think you're legally obligated to add some dried pineapple and dates.