Korea's Kimchi Ready for Lift-Off

First Korean astronaut will take along staple dish
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Feb 28, 2008 8:56 AM CST
A waiter prepares a Korean dish in this file photo. Ko San, South Korea's first astronaut, will take 10 recipes with him to space.    (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – South Korea spent millions to make sure its first astronaut is well-prepared for his mission—by perfecting a space-safe kimchi, reports the International Herald Tribune. South Koreans put down 1.6 million tons of the national dish each year, and Ko San will blast off April 8 for a 10-day stint at the International Space Station with his share of fermented cabbage in tow.

It took years to alter bacteria-laden kimchi, which has a short shelf life. The space version retained 90% of the flavor and reduced its pungent smell. Korean scientists hope it, along with nine other engineered recipes, will perk up otherwise bland space offerings, made solely by Americans and Russians until now. Ko plans to throw a Korean dinner party while in space.