As someone who loves both travel and food, I found this episode of Heston’s Mission Impossible for British Airways interesting. He takes on the task of improving airplane food, which is often universally panned.
I’m actually a fan of airplane food, just because I think it’s already magical that a giant metal tube can get off the ground and transport me somewhere else in the world in such a short period of time, so it’s even more remarkable that someone will feed me food that’s not completely disgusting during this magical feat. Plus there’s the fact that many airlines will cater to just about any dietary restriction, which boggles my mind logistically.
But here are some of the interesting tidbits from the video:
1. While your ability to taste salty and sweet foods diminishes at altitude, your ability to taste umami does not. This means if you’re looking for flavorful foods, you should search out entrees with ingredients like tomatoes, soy sauce, and shiitake mushrooms.
2. Since airplane ovens essentially have only two temperature settings and it’s hard to know how long your meal will sit in the oven, it makes sense to hedge your bets and choose saucier dishes that are more resilient to drying out. Things like curries and stews are probably good bets.
3. Heston Blumenthal thought that the drier air at altitude made it harder to taste food, so he had people use a nasal douche before eating. Could be something that you add to your carry-on bag.