Fifty years ago, the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission made a successful landing on the moon, with Neil Armstrong taking one small step for himself and a giant leap for mankind (and spawning about two gazillion Omega Speedmaster special editions).
Of course, like with climate change, evolution and whether or not the Earth is really round, there are some out there who will debate whether or not the lunar landing really happened, and it was just faked.
At any rate, we’re not here to debate that. The Snacktivist is beyond petty politics, conspiracy theories and indeed, common sense.
We know for sure that the moon landing happened because moon food, that is the things that astronauts eat (you know, if they actually went up into space), are being sold in stores. Specifically, the gift shop of the Miraikan science museum located in Odaiba, Tokyo Bay.
I mean, nobody would be that insane to make food that some people supposedly ate during an event that never really happened and sell lie upon lie the public, right?
Nobody can be that insane, that sociopathic, that willing to watch the world burn. It’s almost as if a Bond villain was brought to life. It’s the person who puts chewing gum across the airplane toilet’s flush button (this really happened to me, btw) and who cultivates an evil laugh in order to make the former act that much more diabolical.
But I digress. What I’m here to do today is to go boldly where no Snacktivist has gone before. That is, to attempt to eat a three-course meal entirely comprised of what people what people (supposedly) eat in space.
So, take your protein pills, put your helmet on, check ignition and may God’s love be with you.
Major Tom Snacktivist.
Now, I’m normally a bit leery of things that come out of cans, though in all fairness to the creatively named (this is sarcasm, in case you can’t tell) space bread, it’s not exactly weird, as such.
I mean, it’s bread. In a can.
A can is just another sort of container, yes?
It’s like getting your bread in a plastic wrapper, except this is made of metal. They’re both recyclable, so it’s all good.
And again, in all fairness to bread in a can, bread would hardly be the oddest thing the Japanese have put into a can.
These are the same people that put oden in a can, which you can then buy out of vending machines. Other things in a can you can get in Japan (it helps to have a can-do attitude about my canned food puns) include corn potage and miso soup.
But apart from the novelty of getting your bread from a can, there’s very little to suggest it actually came from one, apart from the fact that it’s cylindrical.
It tastes like bread. Bread that just so happens to come from a can.
But it’s pretty damn good bread, if I’m being completely honest about it.
It’s airy, yet dense and is intensely buttery and faintly sweet. Space brioche, if you will.
The salmon onigiri, well. It has salmon flakes in it, which is already a bit of a red flag. Just cracking open the pouch results in a whiff of dead fish.
You know how there’s always that one idiot in the office that heats up fish in the pantry microwave? Yeah, imagine having that one idiot on your floating tin can in space, eating a pouch of salmon onigiri.
It doesn’t taste all too bad and the texture is decent, assuming you’re fine squeezing your rice out of a plastic pouch and if you can resist the urge to gag every time you catch a whiff of the salmon.
Let’s just say it’s not something you want to crack open in a confined space, much less one actually in space, unless you want to be asked to eat it outside, which I can only assume is slightly less comfortable than eating your lunch in the office corridor.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do human fleshlumps, apparently…
While the appetisers were surprisingly normal, in that they resembled regular terrestrial food, but just in extra-terrestrial-friendly packaging, then the mains boldly go where no food has gone before.
In that everything, and I do mean everything, is freeze-dried.
The Chicken rice (not the Hainanese sort), ebi gratin (a sort of vol-au-vent made with shrimp, cream sauce and cheese) and takoyaki (uh, grilled flour balls filled with octopus) are dessicated versions of their terrestrial selves.
You know how you look at mummified bodies and you go “damn, they almost look like they’re just really thirsty-looking alive people”?
Anyway, if looking at mummies make you thirsty (not in the physiological sense, the metaphorical sense) then you really should take a long, hard look at yourself.
Yeah, space main courses are pretty much like that, too. It feels like eating mummified food, which in some ways, it kinda is.
The ebi gratin looks exactly like how you’d imagine a shrimp, cream sauce and cheese tart to look like after it’s had every last bit of moisture extracted from it.
Ditto for the takoyaki, which also has the effect of shrinking it to the size of a small meatball.
And you also don’t know how much water weighs until you pick up said vol-au-vent and octopus ball and realise they’re as light as a feather. Rather apropos for the weightlessness experienced in space.
As for the chicken rice, which is covered in what I can only assume was once tomato sauce, with bits of—you’ll hardly be surprised to hear—freeze-dried chicken and peas thrown in. And again, because of the dessication desecration, it’s like eating savoury rice crispies.
Eating all that is mildly hilarious, considering how all of it looks exactly like normal food, but completely dried out. Also, slightly macabre, since it’s all completely dried out, in a vaguely r/forbiddensnacks sort of way
However, if eating dry, mummified things isn’t quite your thing, you can use your mouth to rehydrate it. I know what you’re thinking. Don’t even go there.
What I mean is you can use your saliva as a sort of ersatz rehydrator. And again, I know what you’re thinking. Don’t even go there. I’m not asking you to spit on your food, you unhygienic bastard, I’m just saying to keep the food in your mouth a little longer to rehydrate it.
Right, I’m going to stop here. The innuendo is getting too much, I already hear the censors on their way.
And you wouldn’t want to lose the Snacktivist, would you? After all, who else would you turn to for your weekly(ish) dose of hot takes?
Ah, back to the land of things that are not dehydrated. Well, technically both are dehydrated, but you’re supposed to add water to the onigiri before eating. Yes, I know I’m being pedantic, but don’t be so modest, you are too.
Another thing about the onigiri is it isn’t sweet, despite it looking like it’s red bean. My bad for putting it in the dessert section, turns out the Snacktivist isn’t infallible after all. Treasure this moment, for this is one of the few moments the Snacktivist is wrong.
Come to think of it, the red bean (I think?) onigiri isn’t savoury either. In fact, it doesn’t taste like anything at all. It’s quite amazing, if I’m being honest. I mean, I get it if plain rice or bread is bland, but for something that supposedly is flavoured, this is about as devoid of flavour as the main courses were devoid of moisture.
But perhaps its lack of flavour is to help you better contemplate the inky void that is outer space and its infinite vacuum. Eating nothingness while contemplating nothingness, it doesn’t get more poetic than that.
Unless you make a dirty limerick about Uranus, then you deserve to be the Internet’s poet laureate.
But enough of that. If you don’t know by now, I’m no stranger to having my feelings toyed with. I am, if you’ll recall, the person who got catfished by Maccas’ (HA TAKE THAT HATERS) then-new Peach Pie.
Which brings us to the last item on the menu today: strawberry shortcake, and poetically enough—ashes to ashes and all that—dry as a proverbial bone. And I do say proverbial, because when was the last dry bone you’ve seen?
Think about it, I guarantee it’ll keep you up at night. You’re welcome.
Ah, you want to know about space strawberry shortcake tastes like, yes?
Okay, here we go. It’s strawberry shortcake, but dehydrated.
The end, and they all lived happily ever after. Planet Earth is blue, and there’s nothing I can do, etc. etc.