If you’ve every read one of my columns all the way through, or just know me in person, you’ll know I’m from Ontario. A 31-hour drive southeast of here will park you right in the middle of Oshawa. Driving here was a blast! I absolutely love driving, I’m sure as you can tell. Seeing the straight 10-story jagged-edged cliffs being gently caressed by thousands of kilometres of asphalt was incredible. But then I noticed something. I’m hungry. Now, I don’t know about you, but I hate stopping on road trips, so I always bring snacks. Technically you're not allowed to drive while you eat so, umm if you work for the RCMP, it’s time for you to swiftly depart.
I have long harboured the suspicion that chips are the best road trip snack. There’s only one issue with that; I don’t particularly enjoy chips. So, on my 31-hour journey, I had to find something else. I brought corn chips (I like those better), Flake chocolate, gummies, and, of course, the all-time classic beef jerky. I will say beef jerky is the all-time worst road trip snack. A bit of an unpopular opinion, but there I said it.
The problem with it is that it takes a hundred years to chew, and I feel like a cow that doesn’t have four stomachs, which only ends badly in enclosed spaces. Plus, it takes some level of concentration to open the package, and when you finally get it open, you need to dig around that oxygen packet or whatever it is.
Flake chocolate is pretty bad too. Once released from its cage it wreaks havoc on your lap with a drizzle of chocolate rain. Then you spend half the trip brushing chocolate bits off of your pants, evidently onto your shoes and making a mess of them both. It gives the impression of a different type of accident when you get out.
And last but not least, gummies. They are what I think to be the best road trip snack ever! Small and compact, easy to grab and oh, so delicious; however, they absolutely must have no sugar whatsoever on the outside. This is one of the reasons I didn’t chose peanuts or cashews. Of course if they don’t have salt or any kind of flavouring then that’s perfectly fine. Trail mix and dried fruit are great options too.
I’m not saying I don’t like any of these foods, but I’m pretty picky about what I eat while driving. You can’t really have anything hot, unless maybe you drink coffee or tea. But whatever you're eating, or drinking, must be easily disposable if the traffic situation demands it. A hot cup of joe can’t be thrown across the cabin burning everyone in its path until the vehicle comes to a screeching halt because there was a cow in the road. Not very practical, yet people, including myself, drink coffee in the car all the time. Nonetheless, gummies are the best road trip snack!
A recent transplant to Thompson, Jay Hurley is a freelance columnist with a focus on cars, lifestyle and culinary arts. He is from Ontario and studied broadcast and contemporary media.