Like many great ideas, the idea to launch homemade garlic bread 22 miles into the stratosphere formed over a couple pints in a British pub. What started as a harmless booze-infused conversation, morphed into garlic bread becoming quite literally out of this world, and its accompanying video getting 2.6 million views on YouTube.
“Why garlic bread?” host Tom Scott asks in the video. He answers himself, “Well, because it’s delicious. And because someone sent pizza up in a balloon a few years ago.”
So who are these crazy garlic bread-lovers? The group consists of YouTube star Tom Scott, Barry Lewis, host of Youtube channel My Virgin Kitchen and Steve Randall, employee at UK-based aerospace company Random Engineering. Collaborating on this unlikely venture, they answered a question nobody had thought to ask before now: what does space garlic bread taste like?
“Most standard organizations agree that space officially starts at the completely arbitrary Karman line, [62 miles] up,” Scott said, explaining that unfortunately, the bread would only reach a third of the way there. However, he added, “The atmosphere is so thin up there, about 1% of the pressure at ground level, and its close enough.”
Before the group got to the tasting portion of the experiment, they had to first prepare the bread for its maiden voyage. With the bread safely strapped into a protective box with cable ties and a weather balloon, it made its way up into the atmosphere. After almost 2 minutes, the balloon pops and the bread starts making its way back down to Earth. The outside temperature reached almost -40 degrees Fahrenheit on the journey down, enough to freeze the bread entirely.
After the bread “spaceship” deployed, a parachute and a mechanism fully enclosed it and the team began tracking the bread via GPS to its landing location. Thankfully, it fell in a muddy field not too far from where it was launched.
As Scott says in the video, “I’ve yet to see any balloon-launched food that was eaten after landing. And the main reason for that is you have no idea where it's going to land, what it’s going to land in or what animals will have gotten to it first.”
Luckily, the group reached the bread in time to be the first to taste test their experiment. They also kept some bread on Earth to use as a comparison. “It tasted…cold,” Scott said following the taste test.
You can watch the full video below.