"Gorp” is a simple, high-energy snack mix, usually consisting of nuts and raisins, with chocolate, granola, seeds and other ingredients often added. Other names for gorp include “trail mix” and “birdseed.” Gorp is eaten by outdoor sports enthusiasts (hikers, bikers) and is a popular children’s snack.
The origin of the word “gorp” is unknown, but it is probably from the same word “gorp,” a verb meaning “to eat greedily,” cited in print from 1913. The “gorp” snack is cited in print since 1962, with the early citations from mountaineering. “Gorp” is not given as an acronym in the 1960s, but “Good Old Raisins and Peanuts” is cited since 1974, “Granola Oats/Oatmeal Raisins Peanuts” is cited from 1990, and “Gobs of Raw Protein” is cited from 2001.
A 1962 Wisconsin newspaper stated that “gorp” was taken by all campers and canoers, with “gorp” standing for a drink (not a snack) containing “grape, orange, raspberry and pineapple.” No other citations of this brand of “gorp” are known; this citation probably illustrates the popularity of the verb “gorp” with outdoor enthusiasts at that time.
Wikipedia: Trail mix
Trail mix (also gorp) is a combination of dried fruit, grains, nuts, and sometimes chocolate, developed as a snack food to be taken along on outdoor hikes. In New Zealand and Australia, it is known as scroggin. Also in Canada, it is known as Pink Buggie, which has his origins from a brand of Trail Mix made by the Kyle Hancock franchise, that only uses pink smarties.
Trail mix is considered an ideal snack food for hikes, because it is lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious, providing a quick boost from the carbohydrates in the dried fruit and/or granola, and sustained energy from the mono- and polyunsaturated fats in nuts.
Common ingredients may include:
. Nuts, such as peanuts, cashews or almonds
. Dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins, apricots, apples, or candied orange peel
. Chocolate: chips, chunks, or M&M’s
. Breakfast cereal
. Seeds, such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds
. Carob chips or banana chips
. Shredded coconut
. Ginger (crystallised)
. A mix of only nuts (especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids) and raisins is known as “student food” (or Studentenfutter in German-speaking countries).
Gorp and scroggin
The name scroggin (as trail mix is called in Australia and New Zealand) may be an acronym, taken from the first letter of eight ingredients: sultanas, chocolate, raisins, orange peel, ginger, glucose (sugar), improvisation or imagination (i.e., the chef is supposed to add a favorite ingredient), and nuts.
The word gorp, an alternate name for trail mix, may stand for “good old raisins and peanuts”, “granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts”, or “gobs of raw protein”. These are probably backronyms or folk etymology. The Oxford English Dictionary cites only a 1913 reference to the verb gorp, meaning “to eat greedily”.
(Dictionary of American Regional English)
gorp v [Cf gaup to gulp or swallow greedily]
o eat noisily or greedily,
1913 Dialect Notes 4.43, Gorp...To eat greedily.
1942 Berrey-Van den Bark Amer. Slang 94.12 Eat greedily..gorp.
1969 DARE (Qu. H11b, If he makes a noise with his food, he ----) Inf PA186, Gorps.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
colloq. (orig. and chiefly N. Amer.).
[Origin uncertain. Perh. < the earlier U.S. slang gorp to eat greedily (attested from 1913 in Dict. Amer. Regional Eng.(1991) II. 744; cf. to gawp up s.v. GAWP v.), although freq. explained as an acronym < the initial letters of good old raisins and peanuts.]
A mixture of dried fruit and nuts, often with seeds and other high-calorie foods such as chocolate, eaten as a snack food, originally by walkers and campers.
Its popularity with hikers accounts for its alternative name, trail mix.
1972 K. CRAIGHEAD & D. CRAIGHEAD in Nat. Geogr. May 581/1 Along the trail, we munch candy bars or ‘gorp’—a mixture of raisins, nuts, and sweets.
1985 A. TYLER Accidental Tourist xix. 307 ‘I’m not even going to ask what gorp is,’ Sarah said. ‘It’s a mixture of wheat germ and nuts and dried.’
1994 Outdoor Canada May 28/1 Lunch needn’t be a fancy affair… It can be as simple as pulling ashore for a half-hour breather, a cup of coffee and a can of sardines, or a swig of lemonade to wash down a few fistfuls of gorp.
2000 Wired July 218 Stuff the new, stronger micro-ripstop nylon bag’s 1,800-cubic-inch cargo hold with a climbing rack, your fleece, and some gorp.
The American Alpine Journal
By American Alpine Club
Published by American Alpine Club, 1962
...1 bag of gorp (a mixture of 1 can of mixed nuts, 1 box of dried…
After contemplating this idea and fortifying ourselves with more gorp and water, Art tackled the next lead.
24 July 1962, Appleton (WI) Post-Crescent, “Chalk Hills Camp Is North Woods Setting For Fox Cities Area Girl Scout Adventures” by Jean Otto, pg. C1, col. 2:
The hikers carry their own food, again easily prepared by adding water. They also have cheese, salami, Rye Krisp and chocolate. “Gorp” is taken by all campers and canoers. (Named for the flavors grape, orange, raspberry and pineapple, “gorp” becomes a tasty thirst-quencher when mixed with cool water.)
27 October 1964, Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram, “4 in 7th Day of Yosemite Peak Climb,” pg. B5, col. 6:
They are carrying four duffle bags, and four packs, including 150 pounds of water. Their food is salami, cheese, bread, cookies and GORP, a combination of chocolate drops, peanuts, raisins and gum drops.
The Book Buyer’s Guide
Item notes: v. 68 pt. 2
Gorp is mountaineering food you can easily prepare for yourself. “You take a handful of peanuts, a handful of raisins, and a handful of M and M chocolate drops; toss them in a bag and shake them up.”
1 October 1965, Salina (KS) Journal, “Salina Couple To Pedal Through 2-Week Vacation” by Virginia Frederick, pg. 10, col 6:
The enthusiasm of Dave and Kathy is contagious. One is caught in a whirl of gear ratio, mileage, suitable clothing and “gorp”. Gorp is a delicious mixture of salted peanuts, raisins, chocolate drops, marshmallows and candies which experienced riders carry. They munch on it to keep up strength and the spillage provides a ribbon of friendly garbage marking the trail. The slogan is “Go gorp and you’ll always get there”.
11 May 1968, Troy (NY) Record, “Cave Exploring Popular Area Sport” by Frank Sherry, pg B4, col. 4:
Concentrated quick energy food may be prepared to suit the caver’s taste. One kind, called “gorp” in caving argot, consists of raisins, peanuts and chocolate chips mixed.
The Best of Bicycling!
Edited by Harley M. Leete
Published by Trident Press
And between meals many of us “kept up our strength” by munching on apples or gorp—gorp being a mixture of equal parts of salted peanuts, raisins, and M&Ms, an all-purpose ration which you eat from a pocket as you pedal along the highway.
10 April 1972, Des Moines (Iowa) Register, “It’s Only Natural to Cook Foods From Whole Grains” by Phyllis Hanes (Christian Science Monitor), pg. 11, cols. 4-5:
MRS. GAY Koecmich of Hillsborough, Calif., says her family calls their dried-fruit nutseed mixture “gorp.”
“Anything can go into gorp,” Mrs. Kocmich says, “as long as it can be packed into small plastic bags and tucked into pockets and enjoyed by the biteful.”
Here are her recipes for basic and gourmet gorp.
1 cup white raisins
1 cup dark seedless raisins
1 cup salted peanuts
1 cup dark seedless raisins
1 cup white raisins
1 cup almonds unblanched
1 cup dried pears, cut up
1 cup dried apricots, cut up
1 cup M and M candies
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup walnuts, broken in half
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Divide into portions of about a cupful and seal in individual plastic bags. For children, portions of a half cupful ar recommended by both skiing mothers and lunch box packers. Gorp is great for recess snacking.
Pine nuts, unroasted peanuts or cashews are nice additions to gorp.
23 June 1972, Fairbanks (AK) Daily News-Miner, “Ptarmigan Ptimes” by the Alaska Children’s Museum, pg. 7, col. 8:
(How the Lyons made it)
One big bag of raisins
One double-size package of chocolate chips
Half a bag of dried apples
About a cup and a half of peanuts
Half a box of Cheerios
28 September 1972, Albuquerque (NM) Journal, “‘Gorp’ Tasty, Easy to Make” by Pat Kailer, pg. B1, col. 1:
Gorp, the popular snack food used by campers and back packers that souns horrible but tastes delicious, now is available in commercial packaging but is far more economical to mix at home.
The chewy mixture has as its base raisins, peanuts and M and M chocolate candies.
An important added factor for campers—it doesn’t make you unusually thirsty as many snack foods might.
As one camper points out, if Gorp is kept in a plastic bag for a few days, it takes on a completely new taste all its own.
The American Biking Atlas & Touring Guide
By Sue Ellin Browder
New York, NY: Workman Pub. Co.
Experienced biking adventurers usually fill a plastic bag with a quick-energy concoction called “gorp” (good-old-raisins-and-peanuts). Create your own gorp according to taste. Any combination of dried fruits, nuts (including coconut), and small candies like chocolate chips works great.
7 September 1975, Gastonia (NC) Gazette, “Backpacking” by Becky Jordan, pg. 8A, col. 1:
To replenish out spent energy—I was the only one lightheaded—we ate “GORP”. “GORP” is one of Therrell’s concoctions for backpacking energy. It is: Good Old Raisins and Peanuts with a couple of M and M’s thrown in.
23 October 1975, Billings (MT) Gazette, “Intriguing treats,” pg. 11, col. 1:
California raisins, a favorite snack, can be the key to many delicious Halloween treats the whole family will enjoy making. One of the easiest to prepare is gorp (good old raisins and peanuts). Gorp is simply a combination of equal parts of chewy California raisins and dry roasted peanuts. Youngsters can mix it up themselves and package individual servings in plastic sandwich bags.
Winter 1975, Backpacker magazine, “Gorp Cookies,” pg. 33, col. 3:
Gorp is a traditional camping mix for high-energy snacks that consists of raisins, peanuts, and M & Ms or chocolate chips. We make the gorp easy to eat in the shape of cookies, and increase the protein by adding sunflower seeds to complement the peanuts. Every cookie is full of protein and energy.
OCLC WorldCat record
Gorp, glop & glue stew : favorite foods from 165 outdoor experts
by Yvonne Prater; Ruth Mendenhall
Type: Book; English
Publisher: Seattle : Mountaineers, ©1982.
Language Maven Strikes Again
By William Safire
New York, NY: Doubleday
Some folk etymologists contend that gorp is an acronym for granola, oats, raisins, peanuts, but that smacks of the port out, starboard home malarkey…
Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
From: “Martha Hughes”
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 02:26:20 GMT
Local: Wed, Feb 21 2001 10:26 pm
Subject: Re: Camp Recipes
A few years back, I used to do a lot of backpacking. Packing light items becomes a priority. I would pack things in ziplock bags: uncooked rice and dried seasonings, I made beef jerky, GORP (gobs of raw protein, made with nuts, raisins and M&Ms),...