Space Madness

OK, first of all, I didn’t even know that Valentine’s Day was celebrated in China. Now I find out that not only is it celebrated, but marketers in Shanghai are pushing a new food fad for couples to eat on the most romantic day of the year: space potatoes.

The BBC features a piece titled “Lift-Off for Chinese Space Potato,” in which it describes how the seeds of a purple variety of sweet potato accompanied Chinese astronauts on China’s second manned space mission, Shenzhou VI.

Experiments exposed seeds to radiation, different pressures and weightlessness.

After returning to earth, the seeds were later grown on terra firma.

Promoters say that exposing the seeds to space makes for a more hardy and nutritious plant. Ohhh kayyyy. Connoisseurs say there is little difference in flavor between the space potatoes and their earthbound counterparts, although the texture is reported to be a tad more “glutinous.”

Here’s to the lovers of Shanghai, who may be waking up on Valentine’s Day to a piping hot bowl of space potato congee and a glass of the most famous space drink of all.

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