Suckling Porg for Thanksgiving? Yes, Please!

Perhaps the best Thanksgiving feast in all of make-believe is Willy Wonka’s Three-Course Dinner Chewing Gum. Pop in a single stick and enjoy an entire meal, start to finish, with none of the calories, mess, or family relations. But if you remember Violet Beauregarde, who tested a prototype of the Wonka wonder, well, she turns violet. And then blows up. We at WIRED—being self-preservationists—would like to spare ourselves such a fate, but at the same time—being constant seekers of next-gen fare—would still like to enjoy a futuristic meal. So as we plan our Thanksgiving 2.0s, we’ve turned to other, marginally safer science fiction properties for inspiration. Here’s what’s on WIRED’s Thanksgiving menu, circa the year 3000.

Replicated Food (Star Trek)

Let’s be honest. Thanksgiving food, in many families, is not always exactly as you would wish it. Maybe the turkey is dry, or someone made regular stuffing when you wanted cornbread, or all the vegetables were boiled into a soggy gray mush. You know where this would never happen? A Federation starship (Enterprise-D onwards, anyway). Star Trek’s replicators use transporter technology to create just about any inanimate object out of either pure energy or inorganic goo, depending on who you ask. The food is always perfectly cooked, always what you wanted, always cruelty-free and nutritionally balanced, because you programmed it that way. Plus, nobody needs to do the dishes. Just put them back in the replicator, and make them re-materialize as dessert. —Emma Grey Ellis

Bowl of Snot (The Matrix)

The crew of the Nebuchadnezzar calls it many things. Breakfast of champions. Bowl of snot. It tastes like runny eggs. Or Tasty Wheat. What it actually is, as Dozer explains, is “a single-celled protein combined with synthetic aminoes, vitamins, and minerals—everything the body needs.” Swoon, self-optimizing, Soylent-sucking techies of the world! But seriously: I don’t recommend this mass-market subsistence porridge for the texture (wet) or flavor (wet). Use it, instead, as a conversation-starting thought experiment in perceptual relativity, as Mouse does in the film. What is flavor? Is my Tasty Wheat your tuna? What does chicken—or turkey: the great aunt of chicken, in flavor as well as essence—taste like? Better yet, serve it as a palate cleanser between courses, the better to appreciate the abundance of culinary opportunity our robot overlords have kindly coded into the reality-distorting subprogram we call Thanksgiving. —Jason Kehe

Porgs (Star Wars)

Travel to Iceland and you’ll come back with a love of two things: hot dogs, because they’re cheap and everywhere, and puffins, because they’re adorable (and everywhere). What does this have to do with porgs? you ask. Funny story. Outside of Iceland, puffins also inhabit Skellig Michael, the island that served as the set for Ahch-To in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While Rian Johnson was filming there, it became impossible to keep the cute little animals out of every shot, so creature concept designer Jake Lunt Davies created porgs so Johnson could leave stray puffins in the background of various scenes. Porgs quickly became fan favorites—and, in one scene in The Last Jedi, Chewbacca’s dinner option. Despite the fact that he eats it while several crying porgs look on in horror, his crispy bird does look kind of delicious. Chewie cooks his over an open flame, but we imagine if they were brined, covered with butter and rosemary, and put in the oven, they’d be perfect. Though one look at a crying porg would definitely send us off to find the nearest hot dog. —Angela Watercutter

Red Kibble (The Expanse)

White kibble is comfort food for Belters—that is, human beings who live in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It’s some kind of extruded-soy-fungus protein stuff, vaguely rice-like, squeeks like cheese curds when you chew it. Deee-licious. But if you want an even more authentically Belter holiday, and you do, red kibble is what to bring through the airlock and place on the magnetic table for your on-the-float feast. What’s in it? Errr … probably white kibble, but with some kind of red, spicy sauce. Presumably spices, plants, or oils heavy on the capsaicin and sulfur compounds are easier to grow in a hydroponics bay dug out of an asteroid, or just export from Earth. (If intersystem war has broken the trade routes, black marketeers can probably help.) There’s no way to know for sure, but I bet red kibble would be good on a Triscuit. —Adam Rogers

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired