Have you ever tried “astronaut” ice cream? It’s a freeze-dried treat most commonly found in museum gift shops. However, the name is something of a misnomer. Astronaut ice cream has only flown to space once since its creation, aboard Apollo 7. According to NASA, the foil-wrapped snack is too crumbly to enjoy in zero gravity, so the astronauts never request it! Us earthlings will have to eat it instead.
Dippin’ Dots fall in a similar category to astronaut ice cream. As the self-proclaimed “Ice Cream of the Future,” it can be found in some amusement parks, museums and shopping areas, but not many other places. The colorful ice cream beads represent the past—a sort of retro Jetsons’ view of the future—more than the actual future at this point. Like astronaut ice cream before it, they have a nostalgic factor that can’t be replicated.
Although astronaut ice cream and Dippin’ Dots never achieved real lift-off, people are still looking for new spins on the dessert. For example, people are starting to create ice cream using liquid nitrogen! That’s right, shops like Sub Zero Ice Cream have a special scientific recipe that includes flash-freezing the cream with liquid nitrogen while you watch. Shops such as the Ice Cream Lab in Beverly Hills have gotten in on this trend as well. This video shows their frosty process. I know I want to try it someday!
Who knows what the future of ice cream truly holds? As long as classic ice cream sticks around, I’m fine with any kind of space-age experimentation.
Did You Know?
According to NASA’s space food manager, astronauts found that graham crackers were even crumblier than astronaut ice cream. Fortunately, they found the perfect replacement: the popular kids’ snack Teddy Grahams!