|Alternative name(s)||Gorp, scroggin, schmogle|
|Main ingredient(s)||Dried fruit, grains, nuts, sometimes chocolate|
Trail mix is considered an ideal snack food for hikes, because it is lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious, providing a quick energy boost from the carbohydrates in the dried fruit or granola, and sustained energy from fats in nuts.
Both Hadley Fruit Orchards and Harmony Foods (two California growers) claim that trail mix was first invented in 1968 by two California surfers who blended peanuts and raisins together for an energy snack. However, trail mix is also mentioned in Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel The Dharma Bums as the two main characters describe their planned meals in their preparation for a hiking trip.
In Denmark the mix is known as "Studenterhavre" or student oats. It is mentioned in the book Dramatiske scener (dramatic scenes) from the year 1833 were the story teller buys Studenterhavre for a skilling (Danish coin like a pence). Studenterhavre consist of mainly raisins and almonds but at Christmas candy in the form of chocolate pieces were added.
In New Zealand, trail mix is known as scroggin or "schmogle". The term is also used in some places in Australia but usage has only been traced back to the 1970s. Some claim that the name stands for Sultanas, Carob, Raisins, Orange peel, Grains, Glucose, Imagination, Nuts or Sultanas, Chocolate, Raisins and Other Goody-Goodies Including Nuts; but this may be a false etymology.
The word gorp, a term for trail mix often used by hikers and Girl Scouts, may stand for "good old raisins and peanuts", "granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts", or "grapes, oranges, raisins and peanuts" or "gobs of raw protein". These are all probably backronyms or false etymology. The Oxford English Dictionary cites a 1913 reference to the verb gorp, meaning "to eat greedily". A gorp picker can be a term used for a person who will only eat certain things out of any mixed food.
Trail mix, apart from being a food for hikers, is served as a cheap snack to accompany drinks. It bears sometimes humorous names in certain countries, however, e.g., in Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland and Germany it can actually be purchased under these names:
- Studentenfutter ("student fodder") in Germany
- Studenterhavre ("student oats", in analogy of horse oats) in Denmark
- Studentenhaver (id.) in the Netherlands and Flanders
- Mieszanka studencka ("students' mix") in Poland
- Studentų maistas ("students' food") in Lithuania
- Tudengieine (Student snack) in Estonia
- Diákcsemege ("students' delicacy") in Hungary
- Študentska hrana ("students' food") in Slovenia
- Bwyd Dewey ("beloved food") in Wales
- Agil in Iran
- Studentski miks ("Student mix") in Serbia
Common ingredients may include:
- Harper, Laura; Mudd, Tony; Whitfield, Paul (2002). Rough guide to New Zealand. Rough Guides. p. 1023. ISBN 1-85828-896-7.
- "A walk in the Tinderry Mountains.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 27 December 1975. p. 7. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- Pearl Violette Newfield Metzelthin, ed. (1997), Gourmet (Condé Nast Publications) 57 (1-6): 53
- Wheeler, Graeme (1991). The Scroggin Eaters: A History of Bushwalking in Victoria to 1989. Melbourne: Pindari Publications. ISBN 0-9587874-4-1.
- Moore, Bruce (April 2005). "From the Centre". Ozwords (South Melbourne: Oxford University Press) 12 (1): 5. ISSN 1321-0858. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "World Wide Words: Gorp". World Wide Words. Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- "The Food Timeline-history notes: muffins to yogurt". Foodtimeline.org. Retrieved 2010-01-31.