Posted 13 January 2004 - 09:19 AM
The tortillas came to be part of the food system because of payload specialist from Mexico that flew on the Shuttle. He requested tortillas to take along on his mission and the U.S. crewmembers saw the ease with which things could be wrapped in a tortilla and made into a "sandwich". A single tortilla is easier to handle than two pieces of bread and makes a lot less crumbs. Bread still flys occassionally in the fresh food tray on Shuttle, but tortillas are definitely the "bread of choice" for U.S. crewmembers. We do not have the resources to investigate the foods of other cultures to try and determine which ones might work for spaceflight. Right now, only the U.S. and Russia have programs in place to produce foods for spaceflight. Often, commercial off the shelf products won't work for permanent addition to spaceflight menus due to problems with packaging, preparation, etc. We hope that the International Partners of the ISS will eventually come forward to provide food items to add to the ISS menu. They, after all, would be the experts on their own culture's food.