Mangoes: Buy green and hard. They can be used immediately for salads or left to ripen into delectable fruit. Though expensive in the States, in Southeast Asia as well as in South and Central America mangoes are a dime a dozen, literally. Stock up at local markets. There are dozens of varieties, the stringier varieties are generally used for juice, and the softer, smooth-fleshed varieties can be eaten like an apple (after you peel them, of course). But each type is different and delectable in its own way. My favorites are the smaller, champagne mangos
Store in newspaper or apart from other fruit as ripening mango skin gets sticky. Can last 3-weeks in a cool environment. Store away from apples.
Mangosteen: A sweet-tart-like fruit common in Southeast Asian markets. Not great to transport but well worth picking up a few. With white meat in Clementine-like sections t looks like a cross between a lychee and a Clementine cutie and tastes like heaven. As it ages the skin becomes tough and woody. If you can’t peal it with your fingers then throw it overboard, it has gone bad. Can last up to a month refrigerated.
Mayonnaise: I was shocked to learn you don’t have to refrigerate mayonnaise. Of course you have to be careful of germs. Always use clean knives and spoons and buy squeeze bottles.
Meat: Fresh meat should be refrigerated or frozen. I prefer using canned or cured meats on long passages.
Milk: Buy dried or Long-life (UHT) milk for long-term cruising.
- Powdered Milk: Some cruisers prefer the taste of powdered milk to long-life milk. It is also much less expensive than long-life milk. Simply fill a milk bottle ⅓ full of dehydrated milk, ⅔ water, shake, and refrigerate. Dehydrated milk can be used for drinking, making yogurt, or anything regular or long-life milk is used for. If you do not like the taste a drop of vanilla extract helps. Powdered milk can be stored from 3-months to 5-years depending on the storage conditions. The chief factors affecting shelf-life are humidity and temperature, the cooler the conditions the longer the shelf-life. Store in an air-tight insect-proof plastic container in a cool area of the boat.
- Long-life milk or UHT (Ultra Heat Treated) milk is boxed milk that can be stored without refrigeration. UHT milk should be stored on pantry shelves in a cooler part of the boat. It lasts 9-months to one year.
Mushrooms: Dried mushrooms make a wonderful addition to many meals. Shitakes are great in soup. My favorite is (unfortunately) known as “black fungus” in Asian supermarkets. The thin cloud-like mushroom has the nicer name “cloud ears” in the wild. Soak them in water for 5 minutes and these mushrooms add a wonderful crunch to stir-fries
Fresh mushrooms are diverse and can be delicious. Shitakes, portabellos, chanterelles, morels, are delicious to choice edibles. Unfortunately they only have a 1-2 weeks shelf life even kept at optimal temperature and circumstances. So unless you find a way of growing them in the bilge (why not? After all – they have mushroom growing kits) they are a luxury generally reserved for ports.
Netting: Putting up hanging net “food hammocks” for fruit and veggies is a wonderful space-saving way of storage. Also a wonderful way of keeping your fruit well-ventilated. Hang your fruit hammocks out of the sun and you have optimal storage for your fresh produce.