BY DAHRAF ALAVEROPARAT
When I first tried mooondust, it had been a long week. My company’s stock price had dipped after a rough quarter, and I put in extra hours at the office to ensure it wouldn’t drop further. My partner convinced me to try a new fine dining restaurant in town, The Leech, and even though I was drained, I knew that marriage requires sacrifice. As we pulled into the valet parking, I mentally prepared myself for an arduous, hour-long ”dining experience” that would leave me more hungry and tired. Instead, my palate was turned upside down by the best meal of my life.
As we sat down, the waiter introduced us to their core ingredient: moondust. He gave each of us a sample of the fine powder on a simple canapé as he launched into the story of how astronaut Delfhi Ghadyani accidentally first consumed the powder, describing how different regions of the moon yield moondust with different tastes. The first moondust I tried was from the Sea of Tranquility, and its effect lived up to the name. Suddenly, I was floating on a cloud of flavors, leaving all my problems behind as I was consumed by the sheer ecstasy of the bruschetta.
As the meal progressed, I found myself present in a way I had never before experienced. I was captivated by the progression of flavors that flowed from the kitchen as Chef Pepco Caine expertly paired dishes with moondust from different regions. When I left the table that evening, I promised myself that I would try to cook using that wonderful ingredient. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that moondust is difficult to procure, and even if you can find some, it is usually cut with flour and baby powder. I returned to The Leech to find out how Chef Caine obtained such amazingly pure moondust. He referred me to his moondust dealer, who referred me to his bulk supplier, who told me the easiest way to ensure quality was to simply visit the moon myself.
As someone who has always prided myself on my ability to get my hands dirty, and with commercialized spaceflight being within my modest company-funded vacation budget, I decided to take a month off of work to source enough moondust to last me a year. As my shuttle left the atmosphere and gravity lost its hold, I felt a wave of euphoria pass through my body. I was finally on my way to getting more of the delicious moondust.
When I reached the moon, I rented a rover from NASA and set off on a tour of the best moondust harvesting grounds. That month passed in perfect bliss, as I lived simply, traveling, stopping only to harvest more moondust or to eat, living off the land and the millions of dollars of life support equipment I brought with me. Fresh moondust was more fragrant, yet delicate, in comparison to that which I had in the restaurant; taking the time to hand harvest keeps the moondust fresh, while large machines corrupt the dust with bits of impurities. You too must experience the uncut pleasure of pure moondust, straight from the source.