A Professional Food Critic Samples Space Food

Illustration for article titled A Professional Food Critic Samples Space Food

Bill Daley is the food critic for the Chicago Tribune, accustomed to differentiating the finer points of the expensive, aged steaks of Rush Street, not the freeze dried packets of astronaut cuisine. So when NASA sent him a few packets to test out (most of them cooked through injection with hot water) we were pretty keen on hearing just how well our men and women of the cosmos were eating (with no access to real Cosmos, of course). His verdict? Sometimes the food was quite good, other times, not so much.Lunch went well...

I could easily have downed two packages of the shrimp cocktail, long an astronaut favorite. The six medium-size orange shrimp were just a touch chewy after their slapdash, 10-minute water bath, but they looked and smelled like what you get at the supermarket. NASA's cocktail sauce is spiked with plenty of horseradish and salt. If anything can revive tired taste buds in space, this dish is it. I chased it with a pouch of powdered mango-orange drink. The lush but tangy mango flavor juiced up the orange's sweetness, and the mango aroma was pronounced. It was delicious.


Breakfast, on the other hand...

The food scientists had also sent two breakfast items, freeze-dried "Mexican" eggs and a sausage patty. The eggs, colored a bright buttercup yellow, were bouncy and broke down into small, dry curds. Flavorwise they were like a reluctant suitor, vaguely sweet but unwilling to make the full taste commitment. Hot sauce, ketchup even, would work wonders here. Nothing, however, could have saved the sausage patty.

There's lots more foodie space fun where this came from, so hit the link for the complete article. It's a fun, quick and educational read. [Discover]


@bjacobel: I'm too lazy to check on google but I know you can get this food, or least stuff close to it. I've had astronaut ice cream and a couple other things before way back in the day.

And if you can't get that, you should look for MREs. Any military people reading this will probably shudder at the thought of paying for these things but if you're really just camping for a couple days they are so convenient and a couple of the dishes aren't that bad.