The highest altitude Chinese on the planet has a menu of 120 different dishes for your cosmonauts. Fortunately, there is not a trace of spring rolls or rice three delicacies in the special Chinese station that, although it is 435 kilometers high, has food prepared just like home.
The Tiangong station – which began construction with the launch of its Tianhe module on April 29, 2021 – now has three cosmonauts living its first module, the Tianhe: Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo. They’ve been up there for almost two weeks, doing experiments and, it seems, going crazy during the permanent snack-dinner what are the meals at that station.
To get started, They do not take the typical neighborhood Chinese dishes. Chinese gastronomy is one of the most complex on the planet and has little to do with the typical cheap restaurants that we usually see in Spain or anywhere in the world.
According to the Chinese space agency, The 120 different dishes – which arrived separately in an unmanned Tianzhou 2 ship with six tons of cargo of all kinds – are divided into groups for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Astronauts can heat these dishes in the station’s food court, where They have microwave, fridge and folding tables.
According to the head of Chinese astronaut training Huang Weifen, they are based on “the preferences of the astronauts, collected in a survey before launching them on their mission.” That is, they they take note of the command and take what they like.
Among those meals, the preference is the typical dishes of the Sichuan province (if you want to know the specialties, I recommend this must-have YouTube channel). These dishes are especially spicy and, according to Weifen, they finish earlier than others with a bittersweet flavor.
An incredible and endless menu
The reason is that the food in space tastes like cork because, apparently, the sense of taste does not work as on Earth and they do not perceive flavors as intensely as on the surface of our planet.
To give you an idea of the variety of menus, according to the Chinese agency, the three Tianhe astronauts had a breakfast of rice porridge scented with flowers of osmanthus, coconut bread, quail egg and soy canned turnip.
At the meal they squeezed stewed pork chops, Beef soup with vegetables, traditional Chinese rice pudding, fried potatoes and hot peppers, all accompanied by a rice sautéed with meat and vegetables.
For dinner, more rice accompanied by various dishes of spicy tuna, fried chicken, sautéed mushrooms with minced meat, and sautéed romaine lettuce.
There not for the thing: during the day they could have pear juice snacks, marinated chicken gizzards, chocolate, canned fruit, and cookies (which aren’t the lucky ones, because that’s a Chinese-American invention).
At this rate, they will soon have to make a Michelin Guide in orbit. The Chinese have entered into fierce competition with France and the menu that French astronaut Thomas Pesquet took away.
That menu – crafted by Michelin-starred chefs Thierry Marx and Alan Ducasse in collaboration with chemist Raphaël Haumont – includes dishes like Roscoff’s potato and onion pie with truffles, lobster with quinoa and citrus vinaigrette, beef simmered for 7 hours with mushroom sauce, Almond cake with caramelized pears and ‘crepes suzette’.
There is nothing.