Food and drinks in Sci-Fi
This morning, my toaster started messing about and not working properly, only cooking one side when it used to do both. This got me thinking about how food, and drinks, are handled in the science fiction genre. A few sprung to mind right away and I’ve listed them below. This is by no means all of them, just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
This features possibly the best-named drink ever – 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 afterward.”
To quote from the wiki page – “The 20th century’s industrialization led to overcrowding, pollution and global warming due to “the greenhouse effect.” In 2022, 40 million people live in New York City; housing is dilapidated; homeless people fill the streets; many are unemployed; those few with jobs are only barely scraping by and food and working technology are scarce with most of the population surviving on rations produced by the Soylent Corporation. Their latest product is Soylent Green, a green wafer advertised to contain “high-energy plankton” from the World Ocean, more nutritious and palatable than its predecessors “Red” and “Yellow” but in short supply.”
A green wafer…sounds boring as hell. Almost as bad as those shows and films where you see the population eating “pills” for meals…blergh!
This, for me, is the big one. For those who might not know the replicator in Star Trek takes matter and reorganizes it into food and drink, virtually instantly. It uses a modified version of transporter technology to create anything, within reason and legality, it has been programmed with. It can also create plates and cutlery. When you are done, you place anything left over back into the replicator and it breaks the left overs and utensils back down into the base matter, ready to be used again.
There are obviously, some downsides and restrictions. The first is power, both energy, and computing. Reogansingmatter like that’s not an easy task and requires a lot of materials and knowledge of transporter technology to even develop. The second is that for many people, replicated food is never as good as “real” food and is sometimes noticeable. For instance, if a certain dish is best served alive or fresh, the replicator can’t duplicate that.
Romulan Ale and Blood Wine
Two of the more famous drinks in the Star Trek Universe, one favored by the Romulans and the other by the Klingons. Romulan Ale is almost misnamed as it appears to be a very potent blue colored spirit, so potent it was banned in the Federation and many other locations. Bloodwine is best served warm and like wines and drinks from other planets can vary in quality and potency, but still very intoxicating to many non-klingons. It is suggested that bloodwine is made of fermented blood and sugar.
A warriors drink.
Another Klingon dish. Essentially a plate of worms, traditionally eaten alive and wiggling…