Car Food Survival: Altoids?

Hey, those almost-empty water bottles and mints may go a long way someday

I've never felt the attraction to either Starbucks or those liquid palate refreshers, but plenty of folks like to drive around with Altoids in their laps, it seems. Restaurant publicist Carla Marsh claims, "I can live (and indeed have survived for long hours on I-95) on tangerine Altoids; I am a slave to them!" Likewise Marlene Herrera, community director for the March of Dimes, says she would "probably survive on my tin boxes of cinnamon Altoids and my stash of water bottles located under my passenger car seat which are for the gym."

Ivonne Perez Suarez, media relations coordinator for the Biltmore Hotel, disdains the trendy mint, though. She goes for the specialty blend the hotel sells, Choward's Violet mint. And yes, she says, it tastes like you are eating the flower itself. But I bet those would be mighty good with a cup of canal water.

So much for the folks who would make a fresh-smelling corpse. But like myself, plenty of people have no intention of becoming one. They're the ones who stock their cars for an emergency, whether it be a traffic jam or a real jam. Overwhelmingly, everyone from Sheri Ketchum, public relations manager for Beringer Blass, to freelance travel and food writer Joann Biondi recommends one comestible to keep in the glove box: dried fruit. Mango poster photographer Mark Diamond sums it up: "It's never too hot or (certainly not) cold inside a parked car to 'ruin' it, as it's already dried up." The same goes for Father Chris Marino's ring-top Italian tuna packed in olive oil, which he never travels without. And, he says, "Canned fish and dried fruit aren't that bad together." This rule of preservation does not apply to dried legumes, however, as Jeffrey Wolfe of Wolfe's Wine Shoppe notes. He accidentally has been transporting "a box of French green lentils that will never go bad in the South Florida sun, yet would require serious dental work if eaten uncooked."

Jeremy Eaton

Location Info


5061 Eaterie & Deli

1230 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Deli

Region: South Beach

Runnerup to dehydrated apricots? Luna bars. Elaine Mellis, director of public relations for Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, recommends the LemonZest flavor. And Bunmi Moses, development officer for United Way of Miami-Dade, counts "three to four Peanut Butter 'N Jelly, S'mores, and Nutz Over Chocolate Luna bars" among her "stash" (also including Werther's Originals, which redeems her). A few fellow foodies, like the Harbor Grille and Forte Jazz Café owner Neil Zucker, also count Red Bull as a good resource. Both he and The Wine News managing editor Kathy Sinnes also keep ready-to-drink coffee, such as Starbucks' canned double espressos, on hand. A necessity, no question, should one have a rave to attend after the Jaws of Life shows up.

Of course, what goes in must come out. Which is why, in the end, I'll take the advice of Jo Diaz, a wine country publicist. She recommends "muffins, but [not] bran ... for obvious reasons."

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