â€œBaonâ€ is my biased opinion, a uniquely Filipino concept. I know many folks on the planet take snacks with them when they embark on a journey, but for some reason, only Pinoys, in my ethnocentric opinion, have this incredible habit/penchant for bringing something to eat no matter how short or long the journey, how complex or simple the snack, or how cumbersome the effort. It is an amusing and endearing habit actuallyâ€¦ in a horse drawn carriage, jeepney, car, ferry, ship or airplane, you can almost bet your monthly salary that a pinoy traveler has something to eat stashed away in his or her bag or hand carryâ€¦ I mean, really, how many nationalities on the planet travel to the beach two hours away with a cooler in the car so that drinks are cool and chocolate stays firm? Heehee. So where is this going? Well, I am crazed and about to embark on a trip to Europe and instead of focusing on packing my clothes, I am madly prepping the baon that is going into my bag for the nearly unbearable 13 hour flight to Amsterdamâ€¦ In the suitcase is my daughter by the way, as I asked her if she would fit so we could check her in as baggage and save the airfareâ€¦I jest, of course. Child welfare folks do not take this seriouslyâ€¦
Baon isnâ€™t just about being frugal. Itâ€™s about eating what you want when you want it. Growing up I always use to nosh on sampaloc, watermelon seeds, kiamoy, chips and remember those chewy Jojo candies? Well, I have retained some of the old favorites but have also added a slightly more sophisticated and healthy twist to my current roster of munchies. In my bag are several types of mentos candy and gum (for me and my daughter), seedless kiamoy from Aji Ichiban for those â€œneed saltâ€ attacks, spicy seedless sampaloc for those â€œsweet and spicyâ€ moments and a LOT of homemade trail mix a la Marketman. I donâ€™t intend to really hike any trails in Europe but I know I will need to nibble every once in a while after walking and sightseeing for hours. â€œTrail mixesâ€ were originally designed to deliver high energy and contain both proteins and carbohydrates. Typically, a trail mix is made up of grains, fruit and nuts.
For my custom made trail mix for this journey I mixed up some roasted almonds, peeled pistachios, and cashew nuts and added chopped dried apricots, mangoes, blueberries, cranberries and figs. I packaged them up into several single or double servings so that I can easily pop them into my backpack at the start of the day. While these mixes are relatively healthy, they are pretty high calorie as wellâ€¦never mind, no diets while on vacation, donâ€™t you agree? Letâ€™s just hope there are no overeager sniffer dogs at the Schipol airport that make a beeline for my bag and force me to dump the snacks! At any rate, I am curious what YOUR favorite snacks or baon are when you travel on a plane or ship???