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January 2014 Issue
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Eton Mess

Eton Mess. Photo: Mark Banham

Despite our best efforts, backcountry food typically has a bit of a rough trip to the dinner table. Your average tramping pack is in fact a highly efficient food processing device capable of squashing, mashing and breaking just about any food group. But sometimes that’s actually an advantage. Take for instance the infamous Eton Mess.


Serves: Two

Weight: 470g

Volume: 500ml

Kilojoules: 8065

Cost: $12.88

Time: 15min


250ml UHT cream

100g dehydrated


8 small meringues

Shaved dark chocolate and a sprig of mint (if it’s growing nearby).


The hardest part of this recipe is finding a decent supply of dehydrated strawberries. But don’t worry if you can’t – it’s easy enough to take matters into your own hands and do it yourself. If you’ve got a dehydrator that’s great, but if not, simply slice the strawberries into about half-centimetre wide strips and place on baking paper in the oven at its lowest setting. It takes a while (turning them periodically will help) but the good news is your house will smell awesome once you’re done!

Then it’s just a matter of popping the strawberries in some water when you get to the hut and, while they’re re-hydrating, whipping the cream with a fork, crumbling the meringue (if your pack hasn’t done that for you already) and mixing the whole lot together.

Don’t worry too much about presentation – when the recipe has ‘mess’ in the title, I don’t think people expect too much. I usually sprinkle some grated chocolate over the top of it and garnish with a sprig of mint.

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