Italian cuisine and Davide Scabin’s food space

Lasagne, risotto with pesto, eggplant parmesan, eggplant caponata, tiramisú: Italian cuisine into space for the first time with the culinary prowess and artistry of a Piedmontese chef, who was asked by the European Astronaut Center in Cologne to produce a five-course meal for astronauts of the International Space Station. Davide Scabin, the two-starred Michelin chef, owner of the Combal.Zero restaurant  at the Castello di Rivoli (near Turin), doesn’t need much of an introduction, he loves to experiment with futuristic cuisine, as demonstrated by this prestigious task. Furthermore, foods must meet a number of criteria to be considered fit for space: pasta, rice, meat must be sterilized to exclude measurable bacterial contamination, lyophilizated and finally rehydrated, whereas other food items go through a process of thermostabilization. The thermostabilized food such as bread, stew, pudding need  to warmed with a special tray that not only held the food in place but also served as warming devices. Lyophilized food such as pasta, rice or chicken, need to be rehydrated, whereas biscuits and salami could just be eaten dry. Moreover, sterilizated and lyophilizated food items will lose moisture, color, flavor and texture and also changed perception of taste plays a role in food intake while in space. A new challenge for Scabin, who has already prepared the first 300 food packages for NASA.

 

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