Heston Blumenthal Creates Million Dollar Sandwich
Heston Blumenthal has created the most expensive sandwich in the history of, well, sandwich making. We’re talking about a total development cost running into millions of pounds, including fuel.
The bacon sandwich is among a number of dishes, seven to be precise, which he created for Major Tim Peake (Major Peake is the UK’s first European Space Agency astronaut) to bring along to the International Space Station.
In an interview with the Radio Times Blumenthal said he was “incredulous that after all the billions of pounds invested in space travel, this rocket is taking cans of my food into space!”
The sandwich, along with the other dishes, which include red Thai curry and apple crumble, was created to remind Major Peake of home during his six months at zero gravity.
Blumenthal’s Proudest Achievement
Blumenthal, who holds 5 Michelin Stars (let’s face it The Fat Duck is getting its 3 back next time round) between his Berkshire located Fat Duck and Dinner By Heston Blumenthal at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, claims the bacon sandwich is his proudest achievement.
He states that the feat of getting his bacon samba into space, with all the red tape surrounding the use of crumbly bread and challenges with the preservation process, is his greatest personal triumph.
“Yes, I’m proud of that, of bringing this very British taste to Tim (who he doesn’t once refer to as ‘Major Tim’) as he goes round the earth hundreds of times a day. It was supposed to be a treat for later, but he had it the first day!”
In reference to the cost of the dishes he’s developed for the mission Blumenthal said there’s no exact figure but that he “heard the fuel alone cost a couple of million pounds.”
Health and Safety
The risk of food poisoning in space, and it’s dire consequences (think about it), carry such high costs that despite two years of research and development and pathogen tests on sample cans, he feared giving Peake food poisoning. The risk of a dodgy stomach in space would be “terrible”.
He settled on canning as his preservation method partly for “safety” and also because “texture and the taste, there was just no other way to do a bacon sandwich”.
Speaking of watching Major Peake taste the food for the first time Blumenthal said it was “the most strange, wonderful, powerful and nerve-wracking thing”.
“I had a lump in my throat,” Blumenthal said, of watching Major Peake down his Alaskan salmon dish from 220 miles above Earth.
Blumenthal confessed that while he used truffle in one of Major Tim’s stews that if the roles were reversed that “It would be tea from a cup and an ordinary sandwich… I’d have ham and cheese.”
The TV Show: “Heston’s Dinner In Space” can be seen on the UK’s Channel 4 on March 20th at 6PM