Our favorite MythBusters duo, Adam and Jamie, team up with Astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to ever walk in space, and Chef Traci Des Jardins of Iron Chef and Top Chef fame, to create a Space Burrito.
As Adam and Jamie make an epic Skype call with Commander Hadfield in space, the Commander explains his predicament: all of his food is shelf stable, able to last up to 18 months, prepared, repetitive, and unsatisfying. Eager to spice up his routine of dry space food, he accepts Jamie and Adam’s proposition to acquire a space food recipe from Chef Des Jardins.
The key to making food stick together in 0 gravity? Surface tension.
After sampling a spread of dehydrated and rehydrated space food, Chef Des Jardins chooses space steak as the foundation for the burrito, stating, “It looks worse than it tastes.” She smashes up a bag of black beans into purée with her hands, because the Commander won’t have any food prep tools in space. The key to making food stick together in 0 gravity? Surface tension. The black bean purée acts as the glue so that the steak doesn’t float out of the tortilla. She then rips up the steak with her hands and shoves it into the tortilla, adding freeze-dried rice for that “crunchy element” and a touch of Tabasco. She samples it, summing up her creation with: “You could imagine someone in college eating something like that on a regular basis.”
The beauty of eating a burrito or a tortilla in space is that nothing can fall out. The best it can do is sort of float next to you.
The recipe makes its way to the Commander, who subs in red beans and rice for the black bean purée. He struggles to get the ingredients together as they slowly float off in different directions, noting that astronauts usually do not remix their food, preferring to eat one package at a time because of the difficulty. Even the packages themselves carry Velcro to avoid floating off the table. After stuffing the steak swiftly into the tortilla, adhering it with the red beans and rice paste, he delicately applies knock-off space Tabasco, exclaiming, “Hot sauce’d.”
The Commander seems somewhat satisfied with his concoction, explaining: “The beauty of eating a burrito or a tortilla in space is that nothing can fall out. The best it can do is sort of float next to you.” But what is he really craving upon his return? “Fresh baked bread. The smell coming out of the oven, slather a little butter on top. And then also, pizza, piping hot, thin crust, veggie pizza, extra sauce, extra olives.”
Space pizza, anyone?