Star Trek Cuisine
Starfleet’s Far-Out Food
23rd century Starfleet eating can be weirdly colorful and infinitely wacky. So, in this article, I ask… would you eat a plate of colored cubes?!
We’re all looking for new exploration in our meals. That important mealtime should be a dynamic real time, right? Let’s be honest: eating from the same old menu day in and day out can be maddeningly boring. I don’t know what your lunchtime is like these days, but I’m getting just a little tired of my honey chicken fried rice or deluxe bean burrito along with my side of guacamole. Still terrifically tasty to be sure, but I’ve been there done that so many times, I’m getting as despondent as Scotty when he’s not reading his beloved engineering manuals. Don’t we all long for the sparkly promise of future food?
In need of a posh nosh? Future fast food can be exquisitely enigmatic in its mouth-watering complexity. Even today, our embryonic tech – 3D printing – churns out crazy hazy edibles which (while confidently termed) may look, smell, and taste like something entirely different.
Technology to the rescue! Now those merry men and women in their lab coats are cloning meat from the most exotic sources. They’re whipping up everything from tiger steaks to lion chops. It’s a veritable movable feast of a jungle out there now, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s standard most everywhere.
What of a far-flung future of our undiscovered country? In several hundred years, we can’t know what our trendy dining or quick picks will be like. We can only imagine…
Okay, yes, McDonald’s will still sling their McD burgers and fries. KFC will still fry up the Colonel’s greasy, secret recipe. But no other chow can be a sure thing. As is so often the case, we can look to sci-fi and take a cue from Star Trek to see just how interesting future mealtime may become.
If you’re anything like a meat-devouring Antican, you’ll find the Federation’s practices of inorganically replicating meat to be sickeningly barbaric. And what about Captain Kirk’s curious cuisine offerings aboard the classic Enterprise? Are you still hungry?
You’ll attack that buffet before it attacks you! You won’t even let a ravenous Klingon with a finely honed bat’leth stand in your way of succulent roasted chicken or delish lobster claws. Or maybe Pipius claw. To each his own. Anyway, you’re gonna tie the old feedbag on.
Guess what you’ll get if you’re a crewmember or guest aboard a starship in Captain Kirk’s era? A plate of juicy and brightly Colored Blocks. Or perhaps you’ll find yourself chowing down on Blue Food. Yes, you’ll be dining on something which resembles a pathetic fruit salad.
Where can one virtually indulge in these gaily colored food blocks? Listed below are a few original series Trek installments which feature plates of ’em.
To be fair to starry-eyed Starfleet food designers who tried their Emeril-like best to please, plenty of weird eats abound today. Look at power or energy bars found in gyms or GNC stores. They may be called edible, yet in terms of taste and appearance, those Enterprise colored cubes may prove far more enticing to our spoiled palette.
Colored Lego-like cubes may be off-putting, even slightly nightmarish, yet we must put things into proper perspective. Of course, regarding that main course and more, remember – it could always be much worse. You could be stuck on a Starfleet ship, such as the USS Voyager, and be required to limit replicator use. Imagine relying on a slipshod cook like Neelix!
Or even worse – imagine being aboard the NX-class Enterprise or Federation Headquarters of the 32nd century, knowing that the food you eat is reconstituted fecal matter! It’s a sure bet you’d be wishing for as many colored cubes as possible to make up for the more exotic food-prep miscalculations.
An Emmy-Award-nominated screenwriter, book author and content producer, Will has written for magazines, newspapers, the web and for several highly respected TV shows, most notably for the Star Trek franchise. Will contributed story material which formed the basis for episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and he was one of the few freelancers to work on episodes for both of those landmark Hollywood shows. As well as having pitched to Star Trek: Voyager, he has also written multiple books, including Star Trek Essays, Star Trek Essays Volume Two & Volume Three, and Star Trek Sex. Find other articles written by Will at his Substack.