Last Call: Is there life on Mars? Or just Krispy Kremes?

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Is there life on Mars? Or just Krispy Kremes?
Photo: GREGG NEWTON (Getty Images), Image: Krispy Kreme (Getty Images)
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

It’s been a big couple of weeks for Mars, ladies and gentlemen! We’ve got a gorgeous new photo of our celestial neighbor thanks to the UAE’s Hope Probe, which entered Mars’ orbit just one day before China’s Tianwen-1 showed up. The best sci-fi show on television, The Expanse, wrapped its fifth season, and though I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, I will confirm that Mars is most definitely back on its bullshit, and I have many things to say about it if you care to engage me in the comments. This Thursday, NASA’s Perseverance Rover will at last be touching down on the Red Planet after spending more than six-months careening 292.5 million miles through space, and in celebration of one of mankind’s greatest achievements since the invention of chicken parm pot pie, Krispy Kreme is making a special doughnut. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Even though the Perseverance Rover and its supercool helicopter will be on Mars for years to come, the Mars doughnut will only be available this Thursday, the only day Perseverance will be interesting to the general public until it delivers Martian samples to Earth in 2031, or it gets devoured by a Sarlacc, whichever comes first. Krispy Kreme describes the extra-special as “a Chocolate Kreme-filled doughnut dipped in caramel icing with a red planet swirl and sprinkled with chocolate cookie crumbs.” It sounds delicious, though not scientifically accurate. Because...

Last week, scientists from the University of Bremen in Germany published some extremely exciting cyanobacterial research in Frontiers in Microbiology: it seems that delicious, nutritious blue-green algae can be grown in a simulated low-pressure Martian atmosphere, feeding on carbon and nitrogen, and can thrive in water containing only Mars-like dust. (The Mars news is relentless this month!) So we can add blue-green algae to the list of foods Elon Musk and his rice space buddies will be eating on Mars, along with insects and bioreactor-grown eggs. The rest of us plebeians may need to say behind in the smoldering embers of scorched Earth, but, hey, at least we’ll have doughnuts.

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Do you think you could live in a world where all there was to eat was algae and immaculately-conceived eggs? If you could make NASA figure out how to get only one food to space, which one would it be?

Allison Robicelli is a writer, recipe czar, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Tweet me for recipe help: @Robicellis.

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DISCUSSION

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Dr. Boots' List

Those Martians sure are back on their bullshit again.

I love The Expanse, but I really felt like Naomi got the shaft with the plot of the most recent season. I hope she gets to do some cool ass shit next season.