Tropical Storm Emily is churning her way through the Caribbean and, according to the National Weather Service, Miami is in the "cone of death", with Emily predicted to affect us around Friday evening.
Everyone in south Florida is supposed to have a hurricane survival kit filled with batteries, flashlights, water, and cans of soup and tuna. Take it from a Hurricane Andrew survivor who had to subsist on Pop-Tarts and Army K-Rations for two weeks: prepare thyself for the dark days ahead. There are plenty of good-tasting non-perishable foods available at your local grocer.
We took a trip to Milam's in Coconut Grove to shop for our own hurricane survival kit and found some positively edible food that requires no refrigeration.
Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables
Instead of going for canned fruit salad, try some exotic canned lychees ($1.89).
Dried Figs provide B vitamins and go great with crackers, honey and cheese ($4.99).
Dried cranberries ($2.99) are great for snacking, as are other dried fruits like pineapple, mango and apples.
Unsalted, raw almonds and cashews ($3.99) are high in protein and make for good instant energy boosts.
Meats, Cheeses, and Seafood
Parmiagiano-Reggiano ($21.99/lb), Pinot Grigio salami ($8.99) and sopressata ($6.99) require no refrigeration, but be sure to store them in a cool, dry place to prevent molding. Other cheeses and meats, like cave-aged gouda and chorizo are good choices, as well.
Instead of Spam, stock up on canned pate ($2.19)
There was a virtual bounty of canned seafood choices, so break out of the tuna box and try some more exotic options:
Caviar is available in just about every price range. We found whitefish ($8.49), red lumpfish ($12.79) and vodka lunpfish ($8.49).
Escargot ($15.99) makes an upscale hurricane meal.
Instead of traditional tuna, stock up on Italian tuna ($5.29).
Smoked oysters ($2.39), smoked trout ($5.99), and blueback salmon ($7.29) provide protein options.
Canned Foods, Condiments, Pastas, Coffee and Tea
If you've got a gas stove or a grill and can boil water, you can make pasta, instant noodles, coffee and tea (lucky you). we found a few upscale options:
Starbucks Via instant coffee single cup packages ($2.99)
Rooibos Red Tea ($10.29) is rich in antioxidants, which may help stave off stress-related colds and allergies.
San Marzano tomatoes ($3.19) can be used to make pasta sauce or served cold on crackers with a little olive oil.
Clam, chicken, beef and vegetable stock in individual-serving boxes can be used as a soup base or boil pasta in it instead of water ($1.19/each)
Instead of ramen, try instant kimchi -- just add hot water ($3.99)
Truffle oilve oil is pricey ($17.99), but it makes just about anything taste great.
Cornichons ($5.99) and Kalamata olives ($5.95) are great for snacking.
Sweets, Crackers, Extras
Local raw honey ($12.99) can be used as a sweetener or poured on bread or crackers.
Nutella ($5.99), almond butter ($6.79) and apricot preserves ($4.69) can be spread on bread or crackers for an instant breakfast.
Keep some organic chocolate bars ($4.09) on hand for a sweet treat.
Our neighbors across the pond love treacle and spotted dick ($5.39). We just like to say it.
Buy plenty of crackers and breads, which can be used for spreads, canned meats and snacking. We like water crackers ($2), which come in plain, sesame and cracked pepper.
Hemp Dream ($4.89) is a milk substitute made from hemp. No refrigeration is required and its great for people who are allergic to nuts or are lactose intolerant.
Drink your veggies. Super Veggie Juice ($4.99) can also be used as an impromptu bloody mary mix if you happen to have a bottle of vodka lying around.
We like the Tynant water from Wales ($2.29) because it comes in a plastic bottle so breakage isn't a factor.
MetroMint water ($1.69) comes in peppermint, spearmint and other flavors. It's an instant pick-me-up and freshens your breath, too (we like spearmint).
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Mio water flavoring ( $3.99) keeps water from getting too boring.
Wine, wine, wine. We keep plenty of red wine on hand in case of hurricanes, tropical storms, political upheaval and zombies. If the world is coming to an end, we don't want to be sober for it. Monthaven winery makes wine-in-a-box that actually tastes good. Available in Cabernet and Chardonnay ($21.99).