The U.S. Defense Department has tube food, and it’s keeping it a secret:

We hate waiting. So, with a magic tool called “Google,” we found out.

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The tube food is for pilots who fly U-2 reconnaissance aircraft so high in the sky, they’re basically in space. They attach these silver packets to a tube leading into their helmets and suck in such delicacies as beef stroganoff, chicken à la king, and, soon, tortilla soup. According to the pilots and the tube food developers, the mush inside the tubes is “the very height of culinary achievement.” Except, at one point, the peach melba, which in early stages of development “had a ‘dirty sock kind of taste.'”

There’s also key lime pie “with the consistency of baby food.” When pilots requested “a breakfast item,” they got home fries and bacon. And not just macaroni and cheese — truffled macaroni and cheese. “That’s my whole thing, is really developing layers of flavors in these tubes,” says the chef in charge of making these delicacies. And all 15 items on the menu are “made with fresh ingredients ground to fit in the tubes.” Look, here are the beginnings of beef stroganoff:


Defense Department

Don’t get us wrong: We’re all for pilots eating high-quality mush while they’re up in almost-space spying on Iran (or whatever it is they’re doing up there). We ourselves are planning on indulging in tube food, after the nuclear apocalypse, when we’ll be stopping by Natick, where this stuff comes from, on our way to the Twinkie factory.

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