|by Michelle Baran||Food + Drink, Airfares & Flying, Airlines||107|
Have you ever had a truly remarkable airline meal? Don't laugh. It's no secret that in-flight food has for the most part gone from bad to worse over the years. But have you ever thought of how difficult it is to make mile-high meals tasty?
According to a recent article in The New York Times, the fact of the matter is it's scientifically challenging to make food taste good that high up in the air.
"Even before a plane takes off, the atmosphere inside the cabin dries out the nose. As the plane ascends, the change in air pressure numbs about a third of the taste buds. And as the plane reaches a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, cabin humidity levels are kept low by design, to reduce the risk of fuselage corrosion. Soon, the nose no longer knows. Taste buds are M.I.A. Cotton mouth sets in," the article explains.
Consequently, airlines serve food that is heavily salted or spiced, and wines that are "full-bodied fruit bombs," because otherwise the food and beverages would taste bland, the article concludes.
Unfortunately, many of the advances being made in food quality and taste are aimed at courting those in the front of the plane, the article proceeds to tell us, which leaves us mere mortals at the back of the plane to suffer through our mediocre microwave meals.
But there have been some efforts made even for economy passengers and even if you often have to pay an additional, pretty steep, fee for it (thinking of airlines like Virgin American or Jetblue, which feature bistro-style meals and snack boxes you can order on board).
What is your take on airline food? Have you resorted to just bringing your own food on the flight? Or have you had some legitimately decent culinary experiences up in the air? Are there some airlines whose cuisine you prefer to others? Give us your airline food rating in our poll or tell us about your experience with in-flight food by commenting below.
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