As a kid, I loved travelling in airplanes. The process of getting to the airport, boarding a flight, meeting the airline crew was exciting to the mind of an 8-9 year old. Once seated, I would look forward to what I viewed as the highlight of the journey – the Airline Meal! I would anxiously look back where the meals would be stored and wait with bated breath to see what would be served. I loved being given a choice of two, sometimes three (wow!) options at serving time. My mind would register in slow motion the entire process of being asked my choice followed by the steward picking out the tray, then adding a dinner roll (sometimes) and then setting it on my tray. By far, this used to the best part of my trip! Needless to say, I would devour the meal and sit back satisfied till the next surprise would show up. And I happily ate every one of them!
With experience and exposure to food, I got more discerning of food choices and tastes. I have come to realize that airline food cannot compare with restaurant food. Of course, there is a huge difference between a freshly cooked meal and a pre-cooked one. However, I have to admit the excitement still lingers. My favorite food items are the cheeses and the butters. Put in between a roll, the resulting sandwich is the best comfort food when you are so far away from home, in the middle of nowhere. I would like to see a hotter tea and coffee beverage, though. These for some reason are almost always lukewarm. The foodie in me also wishes for green tea options or a cappuccino offering.
In all fairness, some airlines do make an effort to make sure their meals across the board are above average. Food is a major expense for the airlines and they are realizing that investing in it a little to satisfy the long haul passengers helps the bottom line. Here’s a fun factoid on why airline meals taste the way they do. Altitude apparently changes the taste of these pre-prepared meals, which are previously cooked and chilled.
All in all, the kid in me still eagerly awaits the food cart for the “main entrée” that will accompany me while I catch up on a movie I’ve been meaning to watch (selections of which are incredible on some airlines, but that’s a discussion for another time!)
Do you have a favorite airline meal or a carrier whose meals are just delizioso? What are your thoughts on the bento-style tray that we get served?