This is the project to bring earthly flavors to space – El Financiero

In the future, when humans finally manage to inhabit Mars, they could be sitting somewhere on the red planet chewing gum created with sapodilla resinraspberry or apple flavor, as they reminisce about their time on planet Earth.

It could very well be a science fiction movie, but it is a real project in which the Yucatecan chef Pedro Evia and industrial engineer Eduardo Rukos in the laboratory of the K’u’uk restaurant in Mérida, Yucatán.

The K’u’uk restaurant is one of the many gastronomic projects of chef Pedro Evia, it opened in 2012 and specializes in fusion techniques, a mixture of native ingredients and avant-garde cuisine that offer a new culinary experience, there you can well find chewing gum with freeze-dried fruitpowdered wine or a Chichen Itzá chocolate pyramid.

Evia owns 33 restaurants and ambassador of Mexican cuisine around the world, recently opened his first European project in Madrid, Spain, Q78, “the first Mexican in Spain without tacos” that will smell of “smoke, earth and tradition”, as he commented in an interview these days.

The K´u´uk restaurant in Mérida is one of its flagship projects, on its website Eduardo Rukos and Pedro Evia explain that it was born from the “dream of creating a space in which tradition and avant-garde were one and the same”.

It also stands out as the only one in Latin America with a research laboratory; engineer Eduardo Rukos is director of K´u´uk Research and internships and professional stays can be done.

Gumballs on Mars?

According to a publication by Eduardo Rukos, chewing gum has been on the restaurant’s menu since 2014, Mayan communities use to chew gum (resin from the sapodilla tree) to clean their teeth or stave off hunger when working for several hours, it is part from their tasting menu.


In that laboratory they have worked in alliances with local producers to deal with issues such as the preservation of crops, create unusual flavors such as caramel corn and achiote. Some time ago they caught the attention of Mars City Design.

Mars City is an innovation and design platform founded by architect and filmmaker Vera Mulyani, which seeks to develop technologies that will enable successful interplanetary human settlements, as well as eco-sustainable life supports and infrastructure technologies resistant to extreme environments. food is one of the important topics to think of a life on Mars.

The skill with the experimentation of ingredients and flavors of chef Evia and engineer Rukos caught the attention of Vera Mulyani, who is looking for durable food media that manage to recreate memories through the senses.

It turns out that chewing gum made with sapote resin can achieve this, adapt and concentrate flavors, chef Evia had previously made habanero chili chewing gum, for example.

Chiles that evoke memories

As chef Evia told EFE, with this project with NASA and Mars Cityseeks to bring “terrestrial flavors through apple or raspberry gum.”

On the K’u’uk Research page it is detailed that the objective is to move to the red planet situations from terrestrial life to space trying to secure the memories by means of the sapodilla tree gumthe flavors will be able to recreate a rainy afternoon, a soccer field, a library, a night of whiskey, a cafe in a corner of Paris.

“The properties of natural rubber, in addition to being resistant, can be mixed many times. If the flavor is added to this gum in essence or lyophilized, it can be carried with little weight into space. a large quantity… We also propose the possibility of using SEAgels with pre-established flavors in large plates that can be used as insulation for space ships and containers that, upon arrival at their destination, are dismantled to be used within the space gastronomic project” , details a 2016 publication by K’u’uk Research, as it has been in development for several years.

Chef Evia believes that Mexican gastronomy is increasingly appreciated in the world, especially since it was recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010, now it could be on other planets.

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