Then we got onto the subject of food in Solaris. I mean, it's not like you can avoid it. (That's canon!)
Shevat has hydroponic gardens. They also have real air, so I'm not sure if such a thing is possible in Solaris. :P It makes sense they'd have some kind of vegetable production because that's essential to proper nutrition. Vitamins can only do so much for you, no matter how many additives you pump into the manufactured food. We don't know how many people live in Solaris, but I figure if they do grow any kind of vegetables, the First Class citizens get first pick, and are probably most likely to afford them. Rare commodity = profit.
Shitan is technically Third Class, so I wonder how much of that he saw. He's military, which means rations. On the other hand, he took a lot of missions to the surface, so it's not like he didn't have opportunity to taste the finer things in life.
Actually, don't you wonder what he ate while he was at home? Because seriously, why would anybody put Solarian food into their mouth when they know what's in it?
But then: could they synthesize vegetables? Did they sell Soylent mainly as meat, but try to make some of it look... like not-meat? Or maybe they imported from the surface. They've got all of that free manpower on the Third Class level! The fuel might be killer, though. Zohar doesn't power 100% of everything.
This is all to say: Shitan wouldn't know how to cook veggies because, well, that's just not in the Solarian repertoire. Why he can't cook anything else is beyond me. Maybe all of his genius is aimed at tactics and engineering, and he just doesn't have the headspace for skills like boiling water.
Re: fic meme - I have ideas, will work. :D