User menu

Main menu

Foods From Star Trek That Came True

If you ignore the interstellar travel and English-speaking aliens, the list of things from Star Trek that came true since it aired on TV in the '60s is pretty impressive: clamshell communicators (cell phones), instant translators (Google Translate and Babelfish), portable computers (iPads) and even phasers set to stun (Tasers). But if you look hard enough, you can see the world of Captain Kirk, Bones and Spock all around you. Hell, you can taste it.

                           But only if you want the space-shits.

Food that's still alive when you eat it: Take Klingons. In the original series, the were thinly veiled stand-ins for the Soviets and the communist Chinese in blackface and polyester vests. In the movies and later series, they were swarthy Hell's Angels with forehead tumors. Not aliens. That is, until you saw them eat. 

The wriggly, writhing things they crammed down their filthy mouths seemed like they were fighting for their lives. No human would eat that stuff, right? Wrong. You can sit down to certain restaurants in Manhattan and have a waiter pin down a live lobster to a plank, slit open its tail and brain case, and hand you a pair of chopsticks so you can feast on the freshest sushi in the world as the donor animal waves its antennae and stares at you accusingly. (To be fair, the waiters will usually cover the eyes with a piece of paper so you don't have to feel tooguilty.)

And then there's monkey brains served out of the skull (though whether the primates are ever still alive for dinner is questionable). But the one dish that would truly make a Klingon mama proud has to be live octopus, as seen in that infamous scene from the South Korean revenge flick Old Boy.

Vegetarian food that actually tastes good: Being the one-with-the-universe, pacificist, sex-once-every-seven-years folks they were, Vulcans were also, unsurprisingly, vegetarian. And though you wouldn't expect an emotionless race of extraterrestrials to throw a hissy fit over underseasoned tofu and head for the nearest In-N-Out, it was evident that anything but their veggie fare was going to give them Vulcan diarrhea, and that they actually liked the stuff. In other words, vegetarian food in Star Trek tasted reasonably good. This science fiction was verging on outright fantasy.

Nowadays, however, with more and more people forgoing meat every day, the dining world has taken notice and given vegetarians an ever-widening array of fully vegan treats that even a carnivore could be happy with. Don't believe it? Try a Morningstar corn dog.

Food that doesn't look like food: Meals aboard Federation starships never looked like something you'd necessarily associate with the word "appetizing," but it was definitely interesting-looking, whether it came in sterile geometric shapes or looked more like Jackson Pollack's undiscovered Blue Period. But, under the banner of what many call molecular gastronomy, chef-cum-artists like Ferran Adria, Hester Blumenthal, Grant Achatz, and Wylie Dufresne are turning edibles into 3-D sculptures. Space-age food cubes ... ha!

Romulan ale: The Cuban cigar of the 23rd century, Romulan ale was a blue, highly alcoholic and illegal liquor that was so powerful it could even knock Scotty on his ass. Which makes you wonder whether Gene Roddenberry ever heard of blue Curacao. Of course you can try to make your own Romulan ale at home - who needs a replicator?