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Samantha shows how fine dining is done in space

Jenny Winder, News Writer
Jun 7, 2015, 0:11 UTC

Sen—European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has been demonstrating how she prepares one of her favourite meals, a mackerel, quinoa and leek cream tortilla, in microgravity.

A new video shows her remove the various ingredients from their individual pouches then assemble them in a tortilla, guarding all the time against empty packs or bits of food drifting away. It is mesmerising to watch the tortilla itself float any which way, as it is built, when Samantha reaches for further ingredients.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) eat three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. They can choose from a wide variety of foods including fruits, nuts, peanut butter, chicken, beef, seafood, candy and brownies. Drinks range from orange juice, fruit punches, lemonade, tea and coffee. Recently the astronauts on the ISS took delivery of an espresso coffee machine specifically designed for use in microgravity.

Condiments such as ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise are also available, but salt and pepper are only provided in liquid form because floating grains could clog air vents, contaminate equipment or get stuck in an astronaut's eyes, mouth or nose.

In addition to the regular menu, astronauts are allowed to have "bonus foods" of their choice that represent their own tastes and help to remind them of home.

Expedition 43 crew members currently on board the ISS along with Samantha Cristoforetti include NASA astronauts Commander Terry Virts and Scott Kelly, and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko. 

For details of every human who has been in space since the first spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, including who is in space now and their previous missions, check out Sen’s human spaceflight app.

Samantha Cristoforetti demonstrates how to prepare a mackerel, quinoa and leek cream tortilla on board the ISS. Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)