I'm traveling this week and just got back from a fantastic dinner at Carmines, and excellent Italian restaurant on Rush Street in Chicago. Incredible food. I had an appetizer tonight that I have been planning to bring on my next section hike on the Long Trail: olive oil with good bread and powdered parmesan cheese.
This might seems like an odd meal to bring on a backpacking trip, but olive oil is a very popular food with ultralight backpackers because it is so weight efficient and because it is quite easy to pack. For example, olive oil has 240 calories per once making it very calorically dense. By comparison, other backpacking foods provide you with far less than 100 calories per ounce, if you are lucky
If you want to bring olive oil with you on a trip, you can repackage it in a small plastic bottle or purchase ketchup-style restaurant packages of it to bring along in your food bag.
On my next hike, I will also be bring along some foccacia bread and parmesan cheese to eat with the olive oil. Parmesan cheese keeps extremely well on a backpacking trip because it is a very dry cheese with low water content. I'll sprinkle the cheese on the bread and then pour oil on it to eat it, and to avoid having to bring along any utensils or paper plates. This will make a very satisfying dinner. I might also had some red pepper to the oil to give it a little kick. Try this sometime and let me know how you like it.