To Boldly Bam where No One had Bammed Before

According to a report on KUOW this evening, the astronauts on the International Space Station eat bland food. Actually all the astronauts eat bland food.

And you can only drink so much Tang. I suppose Tang is less Tang-y in space, too.

The problem is that most standard food is bland in the weightless environment. Basically, without gravity, there is nothing pulling people's blood and other internal fluids to their feet. So their heads swell up. When the head swells with extra fluid, the tounge becomes less sensitive to taste.

So the question of how to make good food taste less bland has plagued science for more than 40 years of manned space flight. Finally, someone came up with a soluiont. "How about we make it spicy?"

Enter Emeril Lagasse, of FoodTV fame.

It will be rocket science for Chef Emeril Lagasse when his recipes are served to the astronauts on the International Space Station on August 10, 2006. Lagasse is the first celebrity chef to have meals developed for NASA astronauts and the first person to have those recipes served in space.
Working with the NASA Space Food Lab, Emeril’s Homebase staff and the Emeril Live staff, Emeril chose five recipes that were tested and prepared for delivery to the International Space Station. The crew will enjoy Emeril’s Mardi Gras Jambalaya, Kicked up Mashed Potatoes with Bacon, Green Beans with Garlic, Rice Pudding, and Mixed Fruit.

The KUOW report mentioned that they had to change some of the recipes. For example, one of them used Rum as an ingrediant. Despite what we learend in Armageddon, however, there is no alcohol allowed on the space station. So they switched to Rum extract.

I used to enjoy Emeril's show, but eventually I got tired of watching it every day. It's still fun for special occasions. It takes a lot of energy to watch. But I still appreciate what he's done for the food network.

If you ever want an amazing steak dinner in Las Vegas, be sure to visit Emeril's Delmonico Steak House in the Venetian. You'll need a mortgage to pay the bill, but it is so worth it.

Improved space cuisins is part of an ongoing trend. According to NASA:

Menu options for shuttle and station crews are more extensive than ever before, with about 200 U.S. food items available. Russian food also is available.

How many takers do you suppose they have for the Russian food? Russia may be known for many things, but I've never thought of it as a culinary powerhouse.

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