What does space food taste like - in space? What do Canadian astronauts eat when in orbit? For these and other questions, watch Chris Hadfield in the following video, filmed aboard the ISS.
(Canadian maple syrup in a tube! Mmmm.)
Like many other activities in space, eating requires some special considerations. While orbiting around the Earth, astronauts live and work in microgravity so crumbs and dry foods (such as powders and condiments) float and, if not contained, can contaminate the environment.
Several practical solutions exist to overcome the challenges of eating in weightlessness. Astronauts consume mostly wet and sticky foods such as oatmeal, scrambled eggs, puddings and stews because they stick to an eating utensil long enough for the astronaut to put into their mouth. Foods like bread are rejected because they produce crumbs that can float around; tortillas, on the other hand, are perfect for eating in freefall. Salt and pepper are also consumed, but the salt must be dissolved into water and the pepper suspended in oil.
SF writer Frederik Pohl conceptualized space as being full of food, if you only had a food factory:
What comets are made of is the same thing you are made of, and what C-H-O-N spells is "food." The Oort cloud was made up of millions of megaton-sized servings of chow. Back on Earth there were ten or twelve billion hungry people looking toward it and licking their lips...
But it was there. It gleamed faintly blue in the darkness punctuated by stars, strangely shaped. It was the size of an office building and more oblong than anything else. But one end was rounded, and one side seemed to have a long, curved slice taken out of it.