It has now been a year and a half since the chef Jose Andres He announced on social media that he and his team will be responsible for preparing the meals that the space mission crew will eat. Axiom AX-1 Company Elon Musk, SpaceX.
[El chef José Andrés enviará paella valenciana al espacio]
The idea was that the four people involved in the mission could do this Sample dishes from traditional Spanish recipes during the first private space flight to International Space Station. There is no doubt that this represents a great challenge for the Asturian chef who has chosen a menu composed of dishes such as ratatouille with ham, Iberian ham and almonds, Valencian paella and others.
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By order Miguel Lopez Alegría, the first astronaut born in Spain to travel into space, The crew, who were not professional astronauts, flew on the ship Dragon 2 on April 3, 2022 But what we’ve never known, until now, is whether the paella is really good or if there’s room for improvement, in the astronauts’ opinion.
Miguel Lopez Alegría tells what it’s like to eat paella in space
The last program of José Andrés Podcast, longer tables, He had two excellent guests: Miguel Lopez Alegría himself and the astronaut from AxiomPeggy Weston.
Taking advantage of the fact that, apart from being the leader of the expedition, López Alegría was also the first in charge of the mission. First person to try paellawhich was also cooked by José Andres and his team, in the spaceThe chef did not hesitate to ask about his impressions. The astronaut’s criticisms were great.
When asked by the chef, Lopez Alegría said the following: “TastyBut let me tell you something, just to clarify the answer. The astronaut explains that during the trip to the space station — a transit phase that takes a day or so to go and the same to return — they have no means to rehydrate or reheat food, so everything must be consumed at room temperature.
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For this mission, Chef José Andres prepared the food served by the ship’s crew members Ax-1 They will share it with their Russian, American and German colleagues who were at the time on the International Space Station. In these facilities it is possible to heat food and, according to Lopez Alegría, Everyone loved paella They were also excited when they were offered to keep the leftovers.
Very rich, but rugged
“So paella, As for flavour, 10 out of 10. The problem was that It lacked a little moisture This is a problem in space, and Peggy can attest to that. When we opened the package, the loose rice grains started to splutter due to not having enough moisture. Moisture thanks to surface tension would bind things together. You can eat soup on board because it forms a ball or bubble inside the container. “If you eat something wet, it will behave fine,” the astronaut explains.
“but If the paella is too dry and the rice grains separate, it becomes something complicated. So you can imagine for us the first time we opened a package, which was in transit. So, my crewmates have been in space for a total of up to six hours in their lives. And eating, and just being able to sit still is a challenge in microgravity. So, as soon as you open something, you start seeing things fly away, I mean, We were like fish chasing grains of rice Individually,” the mission commander continues to explain.
In short, “from a taste point of view, it couldn’t have been better. Maybe I should have.” More moisture to be edibleor should I say “digestible”, at least in a space-dignified way,” concludes López Alegría.
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