Out-of-This-World Dining Comes to the International Space Station

Out-of-This-World Dining Comes to the International Space Station

Food & Drink

Out-of-This-World Dining Comes to the International Space Station

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By Cari Martens

Dining in outer space has come a long way since the days of Tang. German top chef Harald Wohlfahrt has discovered a way to bring haute cuisine—or something approaching it—aboard the International Space Station.

Wohlfahrt is the recipient of three Michelin stars and one of the top chefs in Europe. As reported on Spiegel International, his delicious creations are now being served to astronauts orbiting the Earth—dishes such as Swabian potato soup, braised veal cheeks with wild mushrooms, and plum compote for dessert.

Chef Wohlfahrt began revamping the space station’s menu about 18 months ago when he first learned that the astronauts were eating healthy but less tasty meals because of the special requirements of space. Salt accelerates bone loss, vitamin D must be added due to lack of sunlight, and sauces can’t be used for fear of spills, which, in a weightless environment, could damage electrical equipment with potentially disastrous results.

Foods also need to be highly seasoned, because astronauts’ sense of taste is diminished in outer space.

Chef Wohlfahrt’s 3-course space meal packed in special cans

Astronaut Frank De Winne gave Wohlfahrt’s new menu a taste test prior to his launch into space and gave the food an enthusiastic thumbs up. Admittedly there was plenty of room for improvement. Wohlfahrt tasted some standard astronaut fare before beginning his space food project. “I felt sorry for the astronauts,” he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “It tasted like cat food.”

My question: how does he know what cat food tastes like?

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