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Watch Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Anthony Bourdain Discuss Astronaut Hot Sauce

Strange things happen to your taste buds in outer space

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Just one day after the series finale of Anthony Bourdain’s CNN series Parts Unknown, National Geographic’s astrology-themed show Startalk With Neil DeGrasse Tyson will air a new episode featuring an interview with the late author/TV star.

In this scene from the Season 5 premiere, Bourdain and Tyson discuss how taste perception changes with altitude. Years ago, Bourdain actually got a brief lesson in what space travel does to your palate from astronaut Chuck Yeager while shooting an episode of Top Chef. In the clip, Bourdain remarks, “Astronauts get it really bad, and the stuff they crave more than anything, Mr. Yeager told me, is hot sauce — you know, Tabasco or anything spicy, because up there everything tastes bland.” Without missing a beat, the Startalk host replies, “The astronauts I’ve spoken to say this, without hesitation, that they eagerly want spicy foods, and they find themselves visiting other national modules of the space station where the food tends to be spicier.”

Later in the clip, Bourdain also talks about the time he gave up salt to cut weight for a jiu-jitsu competition, and eventually went so crazy for sodium that he got a weird craving to lick “a particularly sweaty homeless dude” on the subway. Tyson calls this story “fascinatingly gross,” and the two TV hosts share a hearty laugh.

Watch a clip from their chat above, and tune in tonight at 11 p.m. to see the whole interview.

Startalk [Nat Geo]
All Anthony Bourdain Coverage [E]

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