Science Fiction Food and Drink

August 27th, 2010

Inspired by this list of the scariest foods (many of which I’ve eaten, including balot and rocky mountain oysters), I was thinking about scary science fiction foods like those live worms that the Klingons eat and decided to try to think of the really distinctive foods and drinks I’ve come across in science fiction.   Not exactly the food of the future, but fun to think about, especially if you’re planning a science fiction-themed party.   I’m not the first to think of it (here’s another webpage about food in science fiction and one from, and they also have one about science fiction drinks) but this will be my take on the memorable stuff.

There is an entire frakking wiki for the consumables of Star Trek. The Klingon living worm thing is called gagh.   Duh, sounds like “gag” for good reason.   For drink, my pick is Romulan Ale.   I’ve made it for parties with this recipe: 1/3 Blue Curacao, 1/3 Barcadi 151, 1/3 Everclear.   That’s 66% alcohol, and it will knock you on your ass.   I bet you could use this website to create an entire Star Trek themed meal, or a decent facsimile thereof.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams has another classic drink: the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.

The best drink in existence is the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. The effect of drinking one of these is rather like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon, wrapped around a large gold brick. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will tell you on which planets the best ones are brewed, how much you can expect to pay for one, and which voluntary organizations exist to help you recover afterwards.

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster

1 bottle Ol’ Janx Spirit.
1 measure Santraginean seawater.
3 cubes frozen Arcturan MegaGin.
4 liters Fallian marsh gas.
1 measure Qualactin Hypermint Extract.
1 Algolian Suntiger tooth.
Zamphour to taste.
Olive garnish.

Take the juice from one bottle of the Ol’ Janx Spirit (see page 15 of the actual Guide).

Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V — Oh, that Santraginean seawater, it says. Oh, those Santraginean fish!

Allow three cubes of Arcturan MegaGin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzene is lost).

Allow four liters of Fallian marsh gas to bubble thrugh it, in memory of all those happy hikers who have died of pleasure in the marshes of Fallia.

Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint Extract, redolent of all the heady odors of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle, sweet and mystic.

Drop in the tooth of an Algolan Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolan suns deep into the heart of the drink.

Sprinkle Zamphour.

Add an olive.

Drink… but… very… carefully.

I made some versions of this drink with Earth ingredients, but have to say they weren’t that great in my opinion.

There is also the Restaurant at the End of the Universe (sequel to Hitchhiker’s Guide).   What’s on the menu? Meet the meat! Hilarious!   Bonus points for you if you can ID the Dr. Who actor in the scene.

The Space Merchants by Pohl and Kornbluth featured a hiding place under “Chicken Little” — a giant piece of vat-grown chicken meat.   That thing always stuck with me.   It’s a classic novel of 1950s science fiction, and well worth tracking down.

I love the dinner scene in Galaxy Quest.   Look about 3 minutes into this clip. What’s worse? Gagh or Kep-mok blood ticks?

There’s an alien fish, samlon, that colonists in Legacy of Heorot by Niven, Pourenelle, and Barnes, eat.   I love that book, and the samlon are actually a very key plot element.

Star Wars doesn’t have much world-building when it comes to food, at least not in the movies.   I mean, you get Luke nibbling on meat on a stick, blue bantha milk.   There are websites highlighting Star Wars themed food (e.g., cakes in the shape of yoda) or discusson threads on Star Wars forums.

As a kid, I watched the original V miniseries, and this scene stands out:

The aliens in District 9 prefer cat food:

There’s Soylent Green, of course.   And Soylent Green is…ah, I won’t spoil it.   If you don’t know, go watch the classic film immediately, ok?

In a similar vein, there’s the classic Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man” based on the short story by Damon Knight.   Forgive me, I’ve embedded a condensed version of the episode below:

I think that’s a classic one to end with.   Other great examples I forgot or don’t know?


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