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Michelin-starred British chef Heston Blumenthal is known for the mad scientist-style gastronomic cuisine he serves at his restaurant, The Fat Duck. So you might be confused when you hear that his latest innovation is a simple bacon sandwich. No, he hasn’t turned fast casual; that bacon sandwich went to space.
England’s Channel 4 tapped Blumenthal to build a bacon sandwich to send to astronaut Tim Peake in the International Space Station. It had to be crumb-free, moist but not too moist, nutritional, delicious and approved by three different groups: the UK Space Agency, the European Space Agency and NASA. Plus, the whole sandwich had to fit into a can and be able to withstand baking for two hours at 140 degrees (in order to kill of germs).
To ensure his space sandwich would succeed, Blumenthal set up a team of chefs at a canning factory to experiment with different breads, butters and bacons. Eventually, he came up with his masterpiece: dense brown bread slathered with lard-like butter and topped with thick-cut bacon. According to a reporter from The Guardian who got to try one of the prototypes, the sandwich was about the size of a coffee cup lid and “heavy work on the jaw…but honestly pretty good.”
The small sandwich took two years to make and, according to UPROXX, it cost $2.8 million to send it to the ISS. It wasn’t alone in its mission. The sandwich was accompanied by other dishes from Blumenthal including beef stew with truffles, Alaskan salmon and red Thai curry.