Like any millennial who grew up inundated with commercials for Space Camp (yet never went), I hold freeze dried foods in high regard. Dippin’ Dots may claim to be the “ice cream of the future,” but you won’t find it at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. No, that particular gift shop real estate is taken up by freeze dried ice cream — also known as “astronaut ice cream” — which, cruelly, astronauts cannot take into space (it’s too dusty).
Freeze dried foods are fun, texturally speaking, and have become much more mainstream since the days of Space Camp. Trader Joe’s in the U.S. is a particularly prolific producer of freeze dried fruit, a concentrated, vibrant form of fruit that can pulverised and used to colour and flavour all sorts of things, including frosting and cream cheese. It also makes for a very pretty beverage.
Making pulverised fruit powder is extremely straightforward: just chuck a handful of it into a food processor or blender and let it whirr until the fruit turns to dust. Once that’s done, take the dust and sprinkle it atop frothy, shaken sours, use it in place of (or along with) sugar or salt on the rim of a glass, or mix it right into a cocktail. (Freeze-dried fruit is usually unsweetened, and can be kind of tart, depending on the brand, so taste the powder before chucking it into or onto your beverage.)
Even if you don’t drink alcohol, these same practices can be applied to beverages of the non-alcoholic persuasion. Sprinkle some mango powder on a lassi, rim a glass of lemonade with some strawberry dust, or shake some some pulverised raspberries on top of a mocha.