Friday, April 12, 2013

Astronaut Ice Cream

Every kid has had this dream of becoming an astronaut one day. Our young minds made this exploit seem so plausible at that time. But that's until we grow up and realize that getting hit by a lightning is an easier endeavor than achieving the opportunity to fly at an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles), a skill that separates astronauts from professional, commercial and military flyers.

In fact, as of June 2011, only 654 people in the world were able to accomplish this feat. Of these, only 24 have traveled beyond the Earth's orbit to either the moon's orbit or surface.

This may come as a big blow to a lot of young space dreamers out there, but who knows where we'll be in a decade or so in terms of space exploration. For now, we might as well content ourselves with a bite of some astronaut dessert.

I saw this pack of Astronaut Ice Cream on the sweets rack by the front registers at Old Navy. At first, I thought I wasn't looking at the real deal until I have fully read the description on the packaging. So, I shelled out 4 bucks (less than 200 in Philippine Pesos) for a pack of this novelty, all the while thinking how cheap it is for something that used to be for the exclusive consumption of the world's elite group of cosmonauts.

Astronaut Neapolitan Ice Cream, 4 USD.

The packaging mentioned that this ice cream has been aboard space missions since the early Mercury Missions in 1961 and is still being consumed on NASA missions today. The label also listed a site called where I read that all their products are certified space technology. They also sell online a variety of freeze-dried astronaut fruits and candies on top of their huge selection of ice cream flavors.

Astronaut Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sandwich, 3.05 USD.
Astronaut Bananas, 2.40 USD.

They even have an Astronaut Beef Stew Space Dinner which I would absolutely like to try.:)

Astronaut Beef Stew Space Dinner, 6.30 USD.

The one I took home was the Neapolitan Ice Cream which is a combination of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors. It's ready to eat and has a calorie content of 120 for a 20g pack.

The contents looked more like pieces of hardened marshmallows but once it reaches your taste buds, you will definitely recognize it's ice cream albeit warm. There's an initial cookie-like texture which turned into a silky consistency as soon as it melts. And though, its rich taste and creaminess is quite enough to satisfy my sweet but mostly curious craving, it still doesn't come close to the marvelous taste of real frozen ice cream.

My son is too young to understand that his generation can now enjoy things that we, adults, used to only dream about as kids. But he posed like he knew how lucky he is, anyway.:)

My little future astronaut.:)

I will definitely take a couple of these space food back home to the Philippines just to give my nephews and nieces something to brag about in school.:) The kids are surely gonna love these.

Oddly enough, indulging in this confection totally made me feel good. It's probably because by buying a pack, I had contributed even if just in a small way to NASA's space exploration program. Or maybe, eating this ice-less ice cream gives me a kick with the realization that when it comes to desserts, we, earthbound earthlings somehow got the better end of the deal.:)

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