The St. Petersburg Times asked online readers this week for questions to pose to Nicole Passonno Stott, the astronaut who grew up in Clearwater. Kindergartener Aidan Stern remembered the tasty astronaut ice cream he had sampled at the Kennedy Space Center, which led to his question: What is your favorite astronaut food?
A reporter asked five astronauts about it Wednesday during a phone call to the International Space Station. Their answers show that these days, astronaut food goes way beyond Tang. Here are some of their surprising replies:
• Frank De Winne of the European Space Agency: "Quails in a kind of nice sauce with carrots."
• Jeff Williams of NASA: "Shrimp cocktail. It's got a nice bite to it."
• Robert Thirsk of the Canadian Space Agency: Shrimp cocktail and also lasagne, because "the sauce that goes with the lasagne meal is very good, nice and spicy."
• Michael Barratt of NASA: "The Russian 'lamb in a can' is just like heaven in a can to me."
• Stott of NASA: "I think one of my favorite things comes from the Europeans, which is this delicious mushroom truffle pate."
For the record, Aidan, who is 5 and goes to Lynch Elementary School in St. Petersburg, said his favorite meal is shrimp. When he grows up, he'd like to be an actor.