After conquering earth, Danish cuisine decided to up the ante. Astronaut Andreas Mogensen has recently become the first Dane in space and he took with him a three-course meal for him and his fellow astronauts created by renowned Danish chef Thorsten Schmidt.
Despite it being and admirable gesture that Mogensen decided to maintain the typical Danish hospitality of making dinner when meeting new people even if you are in orbit 250 miles above Copenhagen, it was left to chef Schmidt to overcome the numerous technical and culinary challenges to make it happen.
“They told me you had to make the food ‘secure’ to eat in zero gravity,” said Schmidt.
“What on earth does that mean? It turns out you can’t have pieces that could break off, fly around and damage something.”
The real culinary challenge though was to ensure the meal fitted into a small box weighing no more than 14 pounds, contained less than 10 percent water and was able to be stored for up to six months at 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
“The food in space is usually bland and freeze-dried or frozen. I wanted to give them something with texture. Liquids are a no-go, because they could break free and make a mess. But I wanted the right amount of moisture to create a great mouth feel.”
His three-course meal included a traditional corned beef dish with cabbage and spices and for dessert a cream dish as there was no freezer to house a dish like ice cream.
Schmidt observed that cream caramelised under the heating process, so he switched the original cream dessert with a crème caramel topped with rhubarb and lime.
The final treat is Schmidt’s “space rocks” that are gnarled, blue grey chocolates shaped like meteorites.