According to an announcement this week Breton company Hénaff – known for feeding French fishermen with their tins of pork paté – has been awarded a contract by US space agency NASA.
The Finistère-based firm, with 214 employees, will work together with Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse to package a menu of 25 very special dishes à la française, according to French daily Le Parisien.
The meals – to be unwrapped by astronauts on the International Space Station on special occasions such as birthdays – were dreamed up by Ducasse, before being settled on by NASA and the astronauts themselves.
“The dishes were specially conceived and we were asked to sterilize them and package them in ultra-light aluminium boxes,” Loïc Hénaff, boss of the company told Le Parisien on Thursday.
Hénaff is the only French company that used conservation and packaging methods that comply with USDA (US Department of Agriculture) standards.
So what will the astronauts be tucking into on celebratory occasions after their launch next summer?
Celeriac purée, Breton lobster, duck breast confit with caper sauce, organic quinoa with seaweed, Menton lemon condiment, and to hold the birthday candles – chocolate cake, according to Le Parisien.
While those delicacies might get American astronauts drooling, it's unlikely Ducasse and Hénaff opted for some of the more adventurous French foods out there, such as these stomach-churning French specialties chosen by readers of The Local.
What would you order as a special meal while travelling in space?