spicy

Space, Astronauts & Tabasco Sauce: Hot Like Fire!

Bet you didn’t know about astronauts and hot sauce… Tabasco sauce to be exact.  According to NASA and food experts, there’s one thing that most astronauts will crave once they have been in a space for a couple of days – hot sauce.  In a news report by NPR, this week, the folks at NASA’s food science program say there’s a reason for that.  It’s called the “Charlie Brown phase.”

Tabasco in outer space, it’s a hit!

Yes, as in the round-headed cartoon creation of Charles M. Schulz!  I know.  This story just keeps getting more interesting, LOL!

So the scientific explanation is that due to the lack of gravity in space, the fluids in astronauts’ bodies aren’t being dragged down as they normally would be here on Earth, and therefore these fluids are traveling freely throughout their bodies, including their heads, causing them to get rounder faces as well as to feel congested as if they had a cold.  That’s why it is called the Charlie Brown phase.  I like the name.  This causes everything they eat to taste like nada and that’s where Tabasco comes in.

Why Tabasco sauce?  Who knows!

Maybe we need to send them a gift box of Valentina and Cholula sauces to try out in space as well… although, to me, Tabasco definitely has a stronger smell.  Maybe that’s the reason for the preference.  I’m totally guessing here now.  No scientific proof behind my imaginaciones.

After having read this story, my weekend is a little brighter now.

It gives me great joy to know that if we do have to go live on the moon or Mars one day, for whatever reason, I can bring my salsa picante with me!

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Ask Juan: What is it with all of that hot sauce?

Bien Picante: Chile Quipin - My all time favorite!

Anywhere I eat, no matter where it is, whenever I sit down, after serving myself a healthy-man-sized portion of food – always healthy-sized – people siempre seem to be amazed at what happens next.  If we are at a restaurant I’ll gently ask the waiter or waitress, “excuse me, do you have Vaentina salsa, Tapatio or Tabasco?”  If we are at home, I’ll reach for my jumbo sized bottle of Valentina and pour it all over my food in a very generous amount.  Y sin fallas the next thing I know I’m answering this question:

What is it with all of that hot sauce?  

This statement (not really ever a question) is usually preceded by a “Damn!” “What the hell?” “Nombre, ¿qué es eso?,” which I take it is supposed to imply that my eating habits are a little unusual.  In truth, to me they aren’t.  Growing up, a meal was never complete without something spicy.  Whether it was homemade salsa de molcajete, Louisiana sauce in a bottle (they didn’t have as many Mexican brands at the Valley Mart in the 80’s), or fresh chile right off of the plant, we would use whatever we could get our hands on to give our food that extra kick.  It was the Mexican way of eating.  Or as my cuñado said the other day “pa que te salga pelo en el pecho guey”.   No, there isn’t any scientific proof that eating spicy food will result in more hair popping up on your chest… but it is kind of hilarious to imagine!

If anything, I’m living proof that this statement is not true.  I’ve eaten so much damn chile over the last 33 years y todavía ¡na’naís!   Only the same three pinche pelos on my chest greet me every day when I look in the mirror.  So while there aren’t any real medical or cosmetic benefits to eating tan picante all of the time – my wife on the contrary always tells me I’m burning through the lining in my stomach with ALL of that hot sauce – my choice to continue these eating habits is because of one reason and one reason alone: it makes my food taste better to me.

Yes, maybe it is true that after a while all of my foods start tasting the same, or even that doing all of this spicy snacking could be harmful to my health, I’ll even man up and own up to the fact that the older I get the more upset my stomach gets when I eat this way (I’ve even considered giving up the Atomic wings at my local buffalo wings place – what a tragedia that would be), but for now, while my stomach can still take it, I’m going to continue pouring on the salsa!

Why?  For no other reason than because I like it.

¡Provecho!

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