Montreal-born astronaut brings bagels into space
When NASA officials asked Gregory Chamitoff what food item he wanted to bring aboard Discovery for a 14-day flight into space, he thought of something special from the Canadian city of his birth.
Chamitoff is the cousin of Rhonda Shlafman, owner of Montreal's Fairmount Bagel, where customers often endure long line-ups to taste the bakery's food.
"He asked me to send him a special treat, so what I did was I packed a box with four six-packs of bagels," Shlafman told CTV Montreal. "Apparently he got three six-packs up there with the space shuttle."
Chamitoff, who is one of seven astronauts aboard Discovery, first had to test the freshness of the bagels.
"We did a little experiment," said Shlafman. "He asked me to send some bagels and he kept them out in a plastic bag to see how long they would last."
According to Shlafman, they lasted for about six days. As for cream cheese, that was left to the experts at NASA.
"They said everything had to be vacuum packed or dry packed or sealed, so they may have found a way to send up cream cheese so it didn't have to be refrigerated for a few days," said Shlafman.
Whether or not Chamitoff brought cream cheese, customers at Fairmount Bagel said he made an excellent choice.
"Fairmounts are the best bagels in Montreal, there's no question to ask," said one man.
With a report by CTV Montreal's Derek Conlon