What did you eat last time onboard? Was it a sandwich or maybe some crackers? This is what most companies offer, but what about something like caviar and foie gras? Today we will discover some of the meals offered by companies to their customers and how meals have changed throughout history.
When we think of airline food, our minds often conjure up images of tasteless, microwaved trays served at 30,000 feet. However, the reality is that airline meals have come a long way since those uninspiring days. In recent years, airlines have been taking their in-flight dining experience to new heights, transforming it into a culinary adventure that surprises and delights passengers.
Some of the worst meals to eat on planes are meat-based dishes because they are certainly cooked somewhere else, long before they make it onto the plane. Leftovers can still be delicious, but you probably wouldn’t like to think of plane meat dishes as leftovers. That’s pretty much what they are, in terms of cooking technique. It’s a meal that was cooked and prepared many hours before, placed in a box for reheating, then put into a cart, then into a truck, and then sitting somewhere for a while before being loaded onto your flight. Other types of food include creamy dishes, but those are not the best if you feel bad during a flight. But was it always like this?
1. From Bland to Bold: Reinventing the Skyward Cuisine
Once upon a time, airline meals were notorious for their lackluster flavors and monotonous options. However, airlines have taken heed of passenger feedback, realizing that a memorable dining experience can significantly enhance the overall journey. To address these concerns, airlines have partnered with top chefs and culinary experts to create gourmet menus that rival those found in high-end restaurants. Through careful selection of quality ingredients and creative plating, airlines now strive to offer a diverse range of delicious options that cater to various dietary preferences.
2. The Rise of Regional Delights: A Taste of the Skies
Airlines have recognized the importance of showcasing the flavors and cultural heritage of the regions they serve. From authentic Thai curries on flights to Bangkok to delectable sushi rolls on journeys to Tokyo, airlines now endeavor to provide passengers with a taste of their destination before they even touch down. By incorporating locally sourced ingredients and collaborating with renowned local chefs, airlines have turned their in-flight meals into an extension of the travel experience itself.
3. Healthy Options at an Altitude: Nourishing Body and Soul
In an era where wellness and mindful eating have gained prominence, airlines have also adapted their menus to accommodate health-conscious passengers. Gone are the days of heavy, greasy meals that leave you feeling sluggish during your journey. Instead, airlines now offer a range of nutritious options, including fresh salads, lean proteins, and plant-based dishes. With a focus on quality and balanced nutrition, airlines are catering to the growing demand for healthier food choices, allowing passengers to arrive at their destination feeling revitalized.
4. In-Flight Dining as a Culinary Showcase: Airline-Branded Restaurants
Taking their culinary prowess to new heights, some airlines have even opened their own branded restaurants on the ground. These dining establishments allow travelers and food enthusiasts to experience the airline’s signature dishes without leaving the tarmac. From elegantly plated entrées to tantalizing desserts, these airline-branded restaurants have become destinations in their own right, providing a unique opportunity to savor the flavors of the skies even when not airborne.
Some of the best dishes include foie gras, truffle, caviar, salmon, lamb and a selection of cheeses. Companies such as Etihad include a 7-course meal for their first-class passengers which starts with a glass of champagne, continues with chickpea soup, a raspberry sorbet before the main course which can be fish or beef-based at the passenger’s choice, prepared to your desired temperature and served with a side dish and choice of sauce. The grand finale? Sweets, of course, like a hazelnut tart, and a freshly brewed cappuccino. Companies like Air France, Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines also hire renowned chefs, like Daniel Boulud, Guy Martin and Michel Roth.
Gone are the days when airline food was synonymous with blandness and disappointment. Airlines have risen to the challenge of transforming their in-flight dining experience into a gourmet affair that captivates the taste buds and leaves a lasting impression. With partnerships with acclaimed chefs, an emphasis on regional cuisine, healthier options, and even airline-branded restaurants, the evolution of airline meals has taken off.