February 7, 2012

Airplane food

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:28 pm by changisme

I have long complained about airplane food, and no one really disagree with me, so I’m not going to elaborate on how much it sucks. What I really want to say is that, airplane food really doesn’t have to suck if they had chosen the types of dishes.

First a disclaimer, I have little experience with foods other than nuts and cookies from Western airlines. The only one I have experienced is Air Canada. I have, however, eaten many meals on long haul Asian airlines, which are commonly acknowledged as having better food. 

First of all, an airplane kitchen is usually just a series of ovens. Since there is no chef in the air, dishes do have to be precooked and maybe later heated. Therefore, all the dishes in the air should be those that taste just as good, or even better, as leftovers. 

In both Chinese and Western cuisine, we have such food items in abundance. In contrast, some dishes are better served fresh and horrible if reheated in the oven. For example, one of the dishes I was served in my most recent flight was stirfry pork strips with bak choy. Not only was the pork no longer fresh, but also lost the texture of a fresh stirfry. The greens were too soft and felt like baby food. Instead, they could serve their pork in chunks and stewed, such as 红烧肉 or 梅菜扣肉, both still pork dish and still cheap. These dishes are known for tasting better as leftovers. Similarly, instead of grilled chicken, they could served curried chicken. I understand some people prefer foods that don’t taste too strongly on the plane, but personally, if my stomach would turn during a flight, mush-like food isn’t going to make me feel less likely to throw up.

Starchy food should also be chosen with care. Asian noodles should never be boiled and reheated later. If it’s Italian pasta in a casserole, maybe… and it’s a big maybe, because I personally don’t like spagetti reheated, but if you have to, heat them without the aluminum cover used in airplane main courses. Many thing with tomato sauce and cheese reheat quite well in an oven, such as pizza.

Desert in the air is another big mystery for me. Recently, I was served “cake” several times. They were stale and dense, and icing cracked like an old man’s face. I would much rather just have a piece of chocolate, maybe with liquor filling (pretty please)? Or, I could take a scoop of ice cream? None of them require that much skill compare to a cake!

For breakfast, the Asian airlines just serve regular food, so I won’t make more comments about them. For Air Canada, they served eggs and hash browns. I’m not one to pick on Western breakfast, as I don’t eat much of them, but wouldn’t sausages or oatmeal or yogurt be better for reheating?

Airplane food can be improved without increase the cost, I just hope someone on the job would have the motivation to do so.


1 Comment »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: