Posted by: James Wapotich | December 6, 2014

The Backcountry Gourmet: The Search for Pomì Marinara Sauce

A while back I touted the wonders of Pomì Marinara Sauce in a post regarding “What I found at Ralph’s”. Within a year of that post, Ralph’s and everyone else stopped carrying Pomì Marinara Sauce, even though they still carried Pomì’s Strained and Chopped Tomatoes in the same style box. Every time I was in the store I’d check to see if it had returned. And any time I was in a new store I’d look to see if I could find it.

Obsessed? Perhaps, but for me spaghetti is just a great backcountry meal, especially on an overnight backpacking trip where weight isn’t as big an issue as on a multi-day trip.

In the interim I tried bringing spaghetti sauce in a Nalgene bottle hoping against hope that the smell of the sauce would eventually leave my bottle.

Then one day while shopping at Tri-County Produce, I just happened to notice that they had some sauces on the bottom shelf across from their freezer aisle. Not even sure what prompted me to look there having been in the store countless times before. But lo and behold on the bottom shelf was a box of the elusive Pomì Marinara Sauce. It had a new, redesigned label, but was still the same functional, sealed box that makes it perfect for backpacking trips. I quickly bought two boxes and thanked my good fortune. [And now almost a year later, I’ve noticed that Cantwell’s and Tino’s Italian Grocery now carry this magic sauce as well.]

Hiking Backpacking trail Santa Barbara Ventura Ojai Los Padres National Forest


Back in that original post I also touted Trader Joe’s Pre-Cooked Meatballs as the perfect addition to the sauce. However, since then Trader Joe’s stopped carrying pre-cooked meatballs. Recently I was able to find a worthy successor – Chef Aidells’ Pre-Cooked Meatballs, which come in a variety of flavors. Here, again the challenge becomes finding a store that actually carries them. Ralph’s at one time did, but now they become perplexed when confronted with the words “pre-cooked meatball”. In fact, the only two places where I’ve been able to find them in Santa Barbara is at Whole Foods and Lazy Acres. [Of course, now that I’ve made this post, I’ve noticed that most Ralph’s, Vons, and Albertsons have started carrying Aidells’ Pre-Cooked Meatballs in variety of flavors.]

Dinner rolls, red wine and parmesan cheese are good additions to this menu as well.

Buen Provecho!

Hiking Backpacking trail Santa Barbara Ventura Ojai Los Padres National Forest

Single serving red wine in easy to carry plastic containers

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