Eating in Antarctica is for the truly toughJanuary 9, 2014 by Lindsay
We apologize to our friends down under, and others not as affected by the recent record low temperatures in the U.S. and Canada, but we’re a little obsessed with cold right now. Those of us who live in these areas have learned far more about something called the “polar vortex” ( a large cold storm that is only rarely pushed south from the Arctic) than we ever wanted to know.
But to keep us from feeling too sorry for ourselves comes this article from NPR’s The Salt,Think You’re Cold And Hungry? Try Eating In Antarctica. The article primarily explores the history of polar expeditions and how they did – or, too often, didn’t – eat. It does, however, wrap up with a little modern analysis that brings some comforting thoughts:
“These days, the food is plentiful in Antarctica – though many “freshies” – fresh produce – must still be flown in and thus remain relatively rare. (The greenhouse at the U.S. McMurdo Station helps.)
As for the quality? “It has everything to do, really, with what cooks you have on staff,” Anthony, who spent eight seasons with the U.S. Antarctic Program, tells The Salt. (Rumor has it, the best place to feast is at the Italian research stations, while foodies should steer clear of the Russians.)
And a good meal remains essential to morale, adds Francis, who was lucky to have a professional chef as one of just 14 staff members who wintered over at Halley with him. One of their diversions through the endless Antarctic night? Cooking classes.
“The chef,” Francis tells me, “is not only one of the hardest-working base members, how good he or she is at his or her job just about defines what kind of winter you’re going to have.”
Using this last criteria, since we’re certain that all our members are excellent cooks, we guess that it looks like it wil be a good winter, after all.
And we want to thank the Aussies for this great photo from their base in Antactica, (courtesy of the Australian Antarctic Division)
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