Food cubes in TOS

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Jedi_Master, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Didn't we actually see real food being eaten on occasion? Such as Rand bringing a plate to Kirk's quarters, containing salad that was 'prescribed' by McCoy? And Kirk's chicken sandwich and coffee in the Tribbles ep.

    IIRC, we only saw the Food Cubes at diplomatic functions. So it's entirely in line with the explanation I gave earlier, I should think.
  2. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

    May 25, 2011
    Image searching "Star Trek food cubes" shows them being used in a variety of settings, including on EXO-III the android planet and in the private quarters of a crew member.
  3. Lieut. Arex

    Lieut. Arex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 18, 2001
    Nav console
    I was told they were dyed melon
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2012
    Melakon's grave
    Kirk's chicken sandwich was probably a marginally tastier synthesized product than Dr. Floyd's chicken sandwich on the moon bus in 2001.
  5. The Good Shepard

    The Good Shepard Paragon Moderator

    Jan 10, 2003
    SSV Normandy
    And chicken soup for the Air Force sergeant! :)

    I wonder if they were actually supposed to be some kind of fruit in-universe, too? IIRC, in "Journey to Babel" the copper aliens put them in their drinks, which seems a strange thing to do if they were supposed to be the 23rd century equivalent of tofu cubes or something.
  6. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

    Apr 28, 2007
    Outer Graceland
  7. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

    Jun 9, 2008
    Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
    We learn a bit more about these food selectors/synthesizers in the book The Making of Star Trek by Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry:

    "The primary hull’s eighth deck level contains four major facilities: a large recreation area, the main food preparation area (similar to the galley aboard our ships today), ship’s laundry, and a rather exotic entertainment center….From the central food preparation area, the [food] selection is transferred via a small turbo lift that connects the several dining and recreation areas scattered throughout the ship."
  8. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 1, 2013
    I posted this in another thread, but then discovered that this one might actually be a better place for it, since it's food-related. Anyhow, here it is.


    I think Wink of an Eye is the only episode in which the cups played a role in the plot.


    Does anyone know anything about these cups? Does anyone care? :lol:

    (When did people start drinking coffee, anyway? I'm just thinking how long-lived a habit it would be if in Star Trek's time, they're still doing it.) :wtf:
  9. PCz911

    PCz911 Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 26, 2014
    Wasn't there some line in Charlie x where Kirk wanted the food to taste almost like turkey...ornthenchef called and told him that there were turkeys ? My memory is a bit vague on this one
  10. Conscientious Consumer

    Conscientious Consumer Admiral Admiral

    Feb 12, 2011
    Taking up space
    Yes. From the transcript, relevant lines.

    I don't know what to make of it exactly. I'm not sure if they are giving us a glimpse inside how the food synthesizers normally operate, or if oven-cooked food was provided only for special occasions, or if the idea of ovens was something that was retconned away later on. :shrug:
  11. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 27, 2005
    Though … I want to say ``Where No Man Has Gone Before'' also shows cups close enough that you can faintly make out the UESPA logo. I'm sure that wasn't kept through the series but it's remarkable they went to such a slight detail in production. (I think ``The Cage'' did that too.)

    Coffee's recorded being drunk in England as far back as 1637, and it hit the country in a big way in the late 17th century; it and tea consumption just kept on rising. Coffeehouses started appearing in major western cities between 1650 and 1700 (about a century behind Constantinople, for what that's worth).

    (Some people, going a little far, I think, have credited the Enlightenment as being essentially the time when western intellectuals shifted their most commonly consumed drug from the depressant of alcohol --- in beer --- to the stimulant of caffeine --- in coffee, tea, and chocolate, all of which hit western Europe about that time --- which offers the prospect of an amusing alternate history where instead of bringing in tea and coffee the merchant venturers bring back opium instead. I don't buy it, though, since history isn't that simple and besides this is also the era when gin really took off.)

    Anyway, it's tougher to pin down just when coffee started since we get away from the very-well-documented western European intellectuals who wrote down all the stuff they were doing. Coffee was certainly being drunk in Egypt and the Arabian peninsula by 1511, when city officials in Mecca and Cairo issued bans on it. Coffeehouses seem to date to before 1500 in Mecca, but how much earlier I can't say and I don't know if anyone can.

    (Tea can be traced back much longer, of course, since it had the good fortune to be noticed by Chinese aristocrats and so got written about at length.)
  12. Draculasaurus

    Draculasaurus Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 14, 2011
    M'Ress? What do you think she tastes like?
  13. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    I'm not even going there . . . :eek:

    I've never tried them but I've heard that the U.S. military's MREs are actually pretty good. At least they taste like real food.
  14. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 1, 2013
    I have tried them, and they are :).

    I picked up a bunch a few years back, in case of power outages (which do happen here on occasion, and it gets a little tiresome to nibble on saltines throughout. You start to feel like a mouse in a cupboard. :lol: )

    If my information is right, the services upgraded the military packs back in the 80's, Prior to that, I'm told the meals featured stuff like turnips, stewed prunes, things of that nature. I guess the guys were turning up their noses at those, so the newer ones feature "20th century foods", such as chicken, pasta and the like. I found them quite tasty.

    The packs had an envelope of a powdered lime drink, which at first I kinda winced at the thought of, but it was quite good, too. All in all, a satisfying little meal! :)

    Any of our brave fighting men present who care to chime in?
  15. The Old Building & Loan

    The Old Building & Loan Auld Lang Mod Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    The Old Mixer, somewhere in Bedford Falls
    I had some MREs that they were giving away when we had bad extended power outages after a major storm a few years back. They're actually quite nifty. As I recall, each one came with:

    Main course, in a pouch that could be cooked in the included water-activated heating sleeve--I never got them to heat very evenly, though. As noted, these could vary from things as diverse as pasta, chicken dishes, beef and noodles, beef stew, etc.;

    A large cracker;

    Peanut butter and cheese spreads;

    Some sort of desert--varied between fig newtons and compressed pop tarts in the ones I got;

    A powered drink mix--The ones I had alternated between Hawaiian Punch and something else, though I'm having trouble remembering what...might have been lemonade, Gatorade, or Tang...I know it wasn't lime;

    Plastic fork;

    Had to use my own water and knife...things any soldier would have on hand.

    Also, the packaging tending to have nifty tips for soldiers regarding what you should eat first for energy and what to save for later, if you weren't able to eat it all in one sitting.
  16. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

    Feb 23, 2013
    Will be Celebrating Spocktoberfest this year!

    Not saying your wrong, but the reason coffee might have helped is before it's introduction, people just drank beer, not for preference but because the alcohol killed the diseases. Heating the water to make coffee also killed the microbes, but didn't get you drunk, people would be in an alcoholic buzz all day with nothing else safe to drink. In some places at least.

    And I did see a stamp on the coffee cup when Mitchell says "I'm thirsty." and it floats over to give him a drink.
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 22, 2010
    Now I loved those space food sticks. Tootsie rolls were more like wax than they were--if memory serves.

    I think they still make them
  18. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 1, 2013
    Memory serves. Those Tootsie Rolls were godawful. :ack:
  19. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2012
    Melakon's grave
    The guy I was named after (not Melakon) was a doctor friend of dad's during WWII. Besides sending a U.S. Savings Bond every month, he signed me up to some science kit thing where a little blue box arrived every month, each devoted to something, like geology, optics, sound, etc. One month had genuine K-rations in it. They were awful, like a graham cracker made out of Rye-Krisp and as flavorful as cardboard.
  20. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    The food cubes on TOS always remind me of the stuff in Campbell's vegetable beef soup.

    White cubes, orange cubes, brown cubes. Except bigger.