Studentenfutter: Swiss student feed mix

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Today I’m taking a break from the world of Japanese bentos to bring you something very Swiss. It’s very simple, but there’s beauty and logic in the simplicity.

This is a simple mixture of dried fruits and nuts, called Studentenfutter in the German speaking parts of Switzerland, as well as in Germany and Austria. Studentenfutter literally means “student feed”. It’s most often sold in slim, recloseable cone-shaped bags as shown above, which fit neatly into backpacks and briefcases, or in resealable zip bags. The bag in the photo contains 200 grams and costs 2.80 CHF (about US $2.70). The dried fruit consists of golden and black raisins, and the nuts are unskinned almonds, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts, plus a few peeled cashews and pine nuts. The ratio of fruit to nuts by weight is 60% to 40%.

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(As with most Swiss packaged goods the product name is printed in 3 languages: in German Studentenfutter; in French Mélange Randonée (hiking mix); in Italian Miscela di fruitta secca e noci (mixed dried fruits and nuts).)

This is a classic poor student’s snacking mix, that has traditionally kept Swiss and German university students going. Albert Einstein went to the Federal Institute of Technology here in Zürich, so chances are his body and brain were kept going by this mix too. The nuts provide the good kind of fats and protein, and the dried fruit provides sugar in slow-release little packets. And the fiber in it all keeps the plumbing going. In terms of ‘student feed’ this mix has to be one of the healthiest out there. Compare this to the classic Japanese ‘student feed’ - cup noodles, instant ramen, and takeout bentos with lots of fried food.

It’s not low calorie (100 grams contains about 450 calories) but is surely more healthy than sugary candy bars, and is just as portable. There is no added sugar, salt or excessive oils (a little vegetable oil is used to roast the nuts), so you may miss those things (which are frequently added to American trail mixes and granola and the like), but the natural flavors of the nuts and fruit really shine through.

How to make your own student feed mix

Choose a selection of dry roasted or raw nuts; most of the nuts should have their skins on, for extra fiber. Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, etc. are all good. I like to drop in a few buttery macadamia nuts too.

The dried fruit mixture can be anything you like too. Watch out for dried fruit that have added sugar if you’re watching your sugar intake. Classic fruit are raisins and sultanas, but you could use anything you like - pineapple, cranberries, apple, mango, apricots, etc.

Mix together the nuts and fruit at a 40:60 ratio by weight (you can vary this to your taste). If I mix my own, I like to divide it into 50 gram packets, which contain around 220 calories each, since I have a habit of wanting to finish a whole packet of food at a time. If I am running around, nibbling from the pack keeps me going between meals - a great supplement to my lunchtime bento.

Store in a cool, dark, dry place for the longest shelf life.

(Granted, the other favorite Student Feed in Switzerland is chocolate bars…)

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Oh gosh, when I studied in

Oh gosh, when I studied in Berlin and Vienna, I ate this all the time. So good. You could also buy it in bulk from the Naschmarkt, or elsewhere. Plumbing definitely stayed regular!

Back in the US, Studentenfutter makes a great office or rehearsal or I’m-running-errands-all-day snack.

I must admit to some

I must admit to some laziness and pick up a pre-packaged bag o’ mix from Costco called “Fruit & Nut Medley” for my husband. The only reason I get this is it’s easier to buy that than to track down dried papaya, kiwi, banana, apricot and such or dry them myself.

I always have a pack of

I always have a pack of those in my bag for a little sweet snack. I just love these mix!

gorp

We call that “trail mix” here. I looked it up on wiki to see if that was a regional thing and learned it’s also known as “gorp.” Quote: “Two backronyms for the word gorp, an alternate name for trail mix, are Good Old Raisins and Peanuts and Granola Oats Raisins and Peanuts. Some assume that gorp is an actual acronym for one of those phrases (or alternatively for “Gobs Of Raw Protein”), but it is probably a folk etymology. The Oxford English Dictionary cites a 1913 reference to the verb gorp, meaning “to eat greedily”.”

We eat this a lot here too

We eat this a lot here too and in different combinations, its healthy for the kids!

In Dutch it is called

In Dutch it is called ‘studentenhaver’ (student oats). Never had the impression it was specifically student food. (And I am a perpetual student)

Oh in India and Pakistan,

Oh in India and Pakistan, the student mix is popular too! Mothers ensure their kids are studying well with proper nutrition and these student mixes - usually made up of almonds, various nuts and occasionally with raisins. Its exclusively homemade (as in they collect inngredients in bulk) and the proporations can vary as well as the ingredients.

They also grind up almonds very finely and put a tablespoon in warm milk with sugar to promote good learning. I was always told it was to help the brain ‘think’. :)

In Hungary it’s called

In Hungary it’s called Diákcsemege (Diakcsemege - Studenttidbit), very popular:)

Re: Studentenfutter: Swiss student feed mix

There is a snack which I consume when traveling, that shares a few ingredients with studentenfutter. First take some roasted nuts and grind them up into a nut butter, then mince an equal amount of dried fruit, mince an equal quantity of homemade unseasoned venison or bison jerky. Mix it all together and add honey to taste. Stir it well again and pack it into a sealable container. It will keep forever at room temperature. 1/2 cup provides 2,000 calories. It is called Pemmican, and is native food in the US and Canada. I have some I made in 2003 that is still good. I have never refrigerated it. It makes a good accompaniment to sweet cornbread.

Re: Studentenfutter: Swiss student feed mix

"Plumbing"... hahaha! XD I love the stuff, though still haven't found a drink that will satisfy my thirst while munching on this healthy snack... Such a simple idea to pack it in portions to take with, yet I've never done so. Usually an opened pack stays neglected in my bag until I throw it away... thanks for the tip (why didn't I think of it myself? Boo!)!

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