Today, as part of Eater’s Future Week, we examine the relationship between food and space. Examine how the sensory qualities of food—taste and smell, in particular—ground our understanding of the phenomena of space in this article.
The only way this is feasible is if space is impractical. Even the scale is ridiculous. The Milky Way galaxy, which encompasses Earth, is an astonishing 100,000 light-years vast.
The Milky Way was formerly thought to be the whole of the cosmos less than a century ago. Ha. HA. In reality, there are billions of galaxies in the known universe, some of which are 10 times larger than the Milky Way.
Millions, billions, and sometimes trillions of stars, together with gas and dust, may be found inside those galaxies (the universe likely contains 100 billion billion stars).
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What Does Space Taste Like? All About
According to the Big Bang hypothesis, a single little particle is where all of this madness started. One. The expansion of space, which is still occurring now, was caused by that small particle’s explosion more than 13 billion years ago.
In space, all kinds of bizarre things take place. Like this: We perceive faraway galaxies not as they are now, but as they were at the beginning of the light’s transuniversal journey.
This is because light from distant galaxies takes billions of years to reach us here on Earth. The further out in space we stare, the farther back in time we see, as I just discovered (or rather, relearned – this is undoubtedly something we were all taught in high school physics class).
All this to say, space is one huge WTF: it’s enormous, ancient, and uncharted. When I dwell on it for too long, my existential state spirals out of control.
There must be aliens out there because it’s both fantastic and horrifying. Earthlings cannot be the be all and end all in those billions of galaxies over those billions of years.
There must be whole societies from the past and the present that we are unable to comprehend, as well as other types of consciousness. That is a lot. almost excessive.
But the thing that binds us all together—food—is what roots space for me and many others. Everyone has food. Everyone consumes food. No one (or, at least, almost no one) feels space. As a result, we are fixated on food in relation to the last frontier.
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No One Has Ever Been To Space, Thus We Are Preoccupied With Food In Relation To The Last Frontier
When they are suspended hundreds of miles above the Earth, what do astronauts eat? There are several dehydrated and thermostabilized things, but you may also purchase shelf-stable goods at the grocery store (nuts, cookies, and tortillas, for example). Food in space has the same flavor, right?
Not entirely, but that’s because being in zero gravity messes with your sinuses. Can food be grown in space? Yes, space veggies are amazing and may even help astronauts with their mental health.
There are 346 million results for “space food” on Google, with space ice cream coming in first (which, fun fact, was only sent on a single space mission despite its ubiquity at science museum gift shops).
In other words, food does not “defy common human vision” as black holes do. Food is as commonplace as they come.
It’s comfortable and familiar, and it helps to lessen how existentially weird everything is in space. Even the fragrance of space has a connection to food; according to some astronauts, it smells like seared steak.
But what I refer to as “space flavor” is my favorite aspect of my fixation with space cuisine. What does space taste like, specifically?
A large dust cloud near the Milky Way’s core contained a substance called ethyl format, which astronomers were able to discover in 2009. In fact, ethyl format is what gives raspberries their taste (it also smells like rum). Space has a raspberry flavor!
What a very mouthwatering flavor space must have. It serves as a reminder that there is still a tiny amount of delightful life as we know it in outer space.
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Even In The Furthest Reaches Of Space, There Are Traces Of Life As We Know it
When a Japanese tea business released Space Tea, a herbal infusion with a delicious raspberry and rum flavor, people became thrilled about space taste once again. I was one of the many people on Earth who attempted to order it, but Space Tea cannot be sent outside of the United States.
Although it seems that this is not in the spirit of space exploration, the corporation really had no idea how much people care about both food and space. We’re very concerned.
We care so much because adding fruit, meat, veggies, or ice cream to the cosmic scene makes the concept of a hundred billion stars seem a little less daunting.
Associating space with essential needs helps us better understand its vastness and reduces our fear in the process. Perhaps one day we will be able to say the same about space. We know food, we get it, we need it, and we enjoy food.