Posted by: James Wapotich | December 7, 2009

The Backcountry Gourmet: Salami and Cheese 2.0

My first introduction to backpacking and the Santa Barbara Backcountry was in the mid seventies when I was in the Boy Scouts (BSA Troop 15). And one of the things we’d always bring along on our 50-miler backpack trips was salami and cheese that had been donated to us by Dean-O’s Pizzarama who was one of our troop sponsors. In fact salami and cheese and crackers became such a staple of our backpacking trips that when I returned to backpacking years later I was sure to include it on the lunch menu.

Several years ago, while driving back from Santa Maria, I stopped at Los Olivos Grocery and grabbed one of their pre-made deli sandwiches as it looked appealing and easy to eat while driving. The realization I had on the drive back was that this Italian “snack sandwich” with its mix of salami, cheese and peperoncinis was not only a great sandwich but the missing link in the search for a new backcountry lunch idea. And so I resolved that I would reverse engineer this sandwich and bring it along the next time I went backpacking. Needless to say it was a hit.

Most of the ingredients for this sandwich can be found at Trader Joe’s.

I recommend the Sopressa Salami & Asiago Cheese for its rich flavor and comes in 6 oz. pre-sliced packs (1 per sandwich)
Baguette (2 ft long, cut into 6 inch sections as needed)
Mezzetta Golden Greek Peperoncini (available at places like Von’s and Ralph’s—I prefer the “Deli Sliced” ones because they’re easier to use and the same price as the whole ones)
Mayonnaise (to help bring it all together)

If you have a favorite backcountry recipe I’d love to hear it.

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