Food in Microgravity
IP3 shipyards are one of the few places in which humans are still expected to spend significant periods of time in microgravity, or as it is colloquially known, on the float. The drydocks are too large to reasonably spin up to provide centrifugal gravity and they do not have access to the space-bending technology available to the UNM. Through ensuring that individuals have routine access to environments with gravity, the health risks can be minimised but workers still spend weeks or months on the float. People still need to eat and with the limitations of microgravity in mind, a unique culinary tradition has formed. In microgravity, there are some rather novel limitations on how food can be prepared. When humanity first started to venture into space the early food was freeze dried and then reconstituted and reheated in space. Later, much of the food was merely dehydrated to save launch mass but pretty much all food eaten in space was prepared prior to launch. It was only in the 2050s, nearly a century after humanity first ventured into space that anyone cooked anything in space. The first dishes cooked were thick stews, designed so that they would remain a single mass to avoid making a mess in an environment without gravity. Curries have waxed and waned in popularity over the decades but it and related foods remain a staple in many star systems. Foods that could be eaten by hand were often popular as using a knife and fork without gravity to hold your food down is quite difficult. For many years, sushi became a space staple no doubt helped by the ease of farming both fish and rice in space. Burritos, tacos and similar wrapped foods however are considered highly unsuitable as they have an unfortunate tendency to launch bits of food everywhere and variations with more zero-gee favourable textures remain unappetising. Barbecue remains to this day a common and popular choice for those in microgravity, although the devices on which it is cooked more closely resemble toasters than grills. But the strong spices help with the dulling of the tastebuds in microgravity and ease by which it can be applied to a wide variety of proteins and vegetables all help contribute to its ubiquity in IP3 shipyards. Finally, despite initial setbacks, the space-based pizza was considered perfected in the early 2100s and by far remains the most popular foodstuff in space. Portable, amenable to a wide variety of toppings and suitable for heavy flavouring, it is commonly served as both a regular meal and comfort food at the end of a long shift.