Japanese Space Food

Mike GristFood / Drink, Japan 8 Comments

You’re in space. The trip up took 8 hours- most of which involved you sitting sideways strapped into a second-hand shuttle waiting for air traffic control to give you the all-clear, with no option to get up and go the bathroom (yep, adult diaper). Now you’re on board a creaking old Russian hybrid rust-bucket where everything stinks of Ozone, you’re losing bone mass on a constant and permanent basis, the weather outside sucks, you can’t relax for a second without strapping yourself to a wall because your limbs float off randomly in zero-G, you can’t go to the bathroom without having to attach undignified hoses to your body, and you’re sharing the cramped and claustrophobic quarters with a bunch of super-earnest elitist prats.

The least you could ask for is a bit of honest-to-goodness, home-made cooking just like Momma used to make. Well, you won’t get that, but if you are a Japanese citizen you are entitled to freeze-dried comfort food mass-produced by machines in high-density chunks. Flavors so delicious as Shrimp Gratin, Kimchi, Ramen Noodles, Yakitori, with Ice Cream to top it off.

I picked these J-space foods up at Miraikan a few months back, a science museum that was holding an exhibition on Pterosaurs. There was a wider range, but they were ¥500 each so I only bought the two you see above.

I opened them to take photographs and since then the opened packages have been sat on my shelf, awaiting the moment when I was bold enough to bite into their dry and dusty ‘goodness’. Every time I fumble in that shelf now, the opened packages spill food-dust. So, I better screw my courage to the sticking place and give them a try. Why not begin with the Ebi-Gratin, or Shrimp Gratin:

Gratin is very popular in convenience stores here- normally a gooey melty white-saucey calori hit, with a few tid-bits of beef or shrimp perched precariously on top. In the space-food version, you can see the red outline of the shrimp baked right into the cookie-like white stuff.

Here goes (yes, I’m really going to eat it, right now, as I write this):

OK. Incredibly dry and chewy- fibrous, light taste of gratin. The shrimp seems to have been vaporized or fossilized or something- there is only a slight color change in the pattie where it used to be. Like I’m digging for gold and find a shrimp-vein in the rock. “Ho! I think there were shrimps here! I can see their color outlines!”


OK. Not bad though. This is my breakfast. I’ll just eat one though. Save the other for another time (yeah, right.)

Ice cream:

Mmm, pretty good. Milky, smooth when wettened in my mouth, a little chalky but not too bad. Wow, dry ice cream- tastes like ice cream! The wonders they can create!

Now I expect big things from the space industry. Federation of Planets and Food Replicators and Quantum Torpedoes and etc may be a little way off yet- but I’m all for them all when they come around. When I’m a 200 year old age-corrected cyborg, or a program flitting through the Net (‘Great Link’) seeking out the newness, I rather expect they’ll be prepping roast soy turkeys on a deep-space station out past Uranus, while working on the galaxies first stable worm-hole.

Salut! Let freeze-dried ice-cream lead the charge!

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Comments 8

  1. Good write up! Very funny with your version of traveling up into space. “super-earnest elitist prats”, and “shrimp-vein in the rocks”, haha! Nice, unforced humour!

    Was planning to do this write up like a year ago, but forgot about it somehow… Guess I don’t need to now, unless I feel like I can one up you!

  2. Thanks for showing the peak inside the package. I think I’ve only ever admired space food from its packaging in various science museums. I even working in a museum of science and industry for three years and never once tried it. Just liked to look at it.

  3. I can’t believe that ice cream tastes good. It looks like chalk.

    Food replicators may be a ways off but I read recently that scientists are fairly close to developing a sort of cloaking devise. I hope the Klingon’s don’t get a hold of that technology.

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    Can- Cheers, it’s been in the queue for over a month now- about time to just do it.

    Jason- I wouldn’t have tried it myself if it wasn’t for then posting it on this blog. Just not appealing- one reason I put it off!

    Tornadoes- It is a bit chalky at first- but then melts and is good. Cloaking device, awesome- I want one like the Predator has.

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  6. Space Snacks!! Very neat indeed. I ‘m guessing you’re a Trek fan from your comments. lol I’m all for ST: TNG with Picard.

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