Freeze dried ice cream — I can hear Grandma now: "What will they ever think of next?" Grandma never envisioned space travel, let alone space ice cream. It's easy to make great tasting ice cream at home using Grandma's favorite ice cream recipes, but there's no way you could ever send it into outer space without it disintegrating the instant it was opened.
And even if served within the pressurized International Space Station, there's no way an astronaut could eat Grandma's ice cream under weightlessness conditions. It would get pretty messy to say the least. But, if you freeze dry the ice cream, it can go into orbit, or anywhere else for that matter.
Here's the scoop. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun.)
Since the early Apollo flights, astronauts have enjoyed a wide variety of space foods and ice cream is always a favorite treat.
Astronaut ice cream is real ice cream that has been quickly frozen to about minus 40°C (-40°F) and then placed inside a vacuum chamber to remove all the moisture crystals, leaving only the ice cream particles.
So, what does it taste like? Believe it or not, it actually tastes just like ice cream! It's dry and crunchy when you first bite into it, but it quickly dissolves in your mouth leaving a deliciously creamy taste, and it comes in several flavors.
Watch the brief YouTube video below as an unidentified man tastes it for the first time.
This novelty food item is the perfect dessert idea for a kid's birthday party, and it makes a great snack for hiking or camping. Really, space ice cream is great for snacking on at any time. No refrigeration is needed. You eat it right out of the sealed pouch it comes in.
Occasionally, someone asks whether ice cream can be freeze dried at home. The answer to that question is YES. With the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer, you can now dry and preserve your homemade ice cream in your own kitchen. In this short YouTube video, a lady demonstrates how she freeze dries her ice cream for snacks and longterm storage.
If you don't yet have an in-home freeze dryer appliance, freeze dried ice cream can be purchased ready to eat. You can find it at most hiking outfitters and at stores that sell camping supplies. It can also be gotten online through Amazon at very reasonable prices, so give it a try. Grandma would have loved it!