Backpacker Magazine –
Test Kitchen: Cheese
Chedder Cheese (Andrew Bydlon)
Add flavor and calories on big trips with shelf-stable cheeses.
Lightweight and dehydrated, these are good toppings, but not ideal as primary ingredients. Mix blue cheese into polenta, blend cheddar with pancake mix for a savory breakfast, and use dried Parmesan on any carbs. (About $10/lb.; americanspice.com
Downside: high salt content and a mild taste. Upside: Velveeta, Easy Cheese, American slices, and gourmet brands can last weeks. Blending during production helps “processed cheese food” stay creamy when melted (instead of separating like natural cheese). Stir 1/4 cup into two cups of cooked noodles for a rich meal, or add to soup mixes to increase calories.
Tested: Make a cheese-wax firestarter.
Wax-covered edam isn’t just a tasty snack; the firestarter-worthy layer of red paraffin that keeps it from spoiling doubles as a survival tool. Make a mini candle: Fold and layer the wax into a one-inch square, then wrap it around a piece of paper twisted into a wick. Burns for up to 20 minutes.
Watch a video demo for making a candle with a waxy rind.
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