A few years ago, Patagonia started Patagonia Provisions with an aim beyond just selling good food, but also that of reforming various supply chains in the process. The initial product was Wild Salmon Jerky (now rebranded as Wild Sockeye Salmon) that comes only from abundant, sustainable runs in the North Pacific and harvested in specific migration routes to avoid harming less abundant species. The latest product out of the Provisions group is Tsampa Soup, a hearty, organic, dried soup mix you can eat at home or on the trail.
Integral to Tibetan culture, tsampa is a hearty, nutty tasting flour that is traditionally made from roasted barley. The most common way to eat tsampa in Tibet is to mix it with butter tea and dried yak cheese until it forms a dough. Apart from constituting a substantial part of the Tibetan diet, tsampa is also used during religious ceremonies—the one probably most familiar to Westerners is the act of throwing tsampa in the air and covering your face with the flour during a basecamp puja ceremony.
Patagonia’s Tsampa Soup is made with certified-organic, non-GMO ingredients. Shelf stable for one year, the savory soup uses a combination of four different roasted whole grains, brightened with organic vegetables, herbs and spices. The company originally created Tsampa Soup as the ideal high-altitude power food, but you could easily make it as a tasty side dish for dinners at home.
The process of first steaming, then roasting whole grains (like the Sherpa do) makes the nutrition more available to the human body, while significantly decreasing cooking time in the field. Tsampa Soup is quick to make on the trail—simply bring two cups of water to a boil, add the package contents and return to a boil and cook for at least one minute (additional cook time required above 3,000 feet). Cover, remove from the heat, and wait nine minutes. Add some Parmesan, olive oil, or even your protein of choice, and enjoy.
As with the salmon, Patagonia looks to improve upon or support sustainable and environmentally friendly supply chains with each meal they create. For the Tsampa Soup, the organic cracked barley comes from Montana Milling of Great Falls, located in the heart of Montana’s golden triangle of grain production. The bulgur wheat comes from Sunnyland Mills, who specialize in organic ancient grains. And Van Drunen Farms grows and dries a wide range of vegetables, including the organic kale that adds flavor and nutrients to the soup.
Patagonia Tsampa Soup retails for $6.50 per package, or $70.20 for a 12 pack.