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October, 1986 - Twenty Years After, from the article Reprovisioning in the South Pacific by Toni Withington Knudson:
To those of us who have been cruising longer than a year, the search for favorite American foods is non-ending and where to restock the larder is a major topic of conversation. When we left Hawaii five years ago, Ty, Justin and I bought what we thought was a year's supply of just about everything. This was a mistake. We wish we had filled our larder with special things we like most - and planned on getting staples along the way. For example, it was a well-remembered day when we ran out of American catsup - our last real hamburger. On the other hand, soups languished away in bins until they rusted and were thrown out.
This brings up another point about food planning for the tropics. Diets change. In the heat and humidity of the islands, no one hungers for the hot stick-to-the-rib meals of the north. Furthermore, recipes tend to get chosen for the least amount of time the stove or oven is heating up the cabin.
The truth about food in the South Pacific is that the longer you are down here, the more your diet goes native. The natural fruits and vegetables, while not too varied, can be prepared in many different ways. Our fish consumption increases each year. We don't even stock canned tuna anymore. Why bother when we catch them pretty regularly?
Cooking habits change as well as diets. At first I overstocked with convenience foods - open-a-can or add-boiling-water stuff. Meals tend to take on added importance on a cruise, especially at sea. I enjoy spending more time preparing meals from scratch than I did at home.
For several years I have been questioning fellow cruisers about what they wish they had brought more of and what they would have left behind. The usual answer is that more storage space would have been filled with specialty foods - sauces, condiments, spices and favorite snack foods. What would have been left behind are ordinary foods such as vegetables, fruits, corned beef, tomato sauce, soups and tuna. These can be bought just about anywhere, even in the smallest trade store. And in some places for even cheaper than in the States.