Eating on board is rarely culinary extravaganza, but there are ways to make it a little tastier. However, this does not apply to pasta, including pasta. It is this dish that becomes the most inedible on board an airplane.
As director of culinary excellence at LSG Sky Chefs Asia Pacific and aircraft nutrition expert Fritz Gross explained to CNN, unfortunately, taste is not a priority for people preparing food for airliners, hygiene is much more important for them.
“In fact, our main concern is food safety. We are preparing such a large volume that we cannot afford to do something wrong. You can imagine how easy it is to sue the airline, ”he said and added that on board you should be guided by a simple rule in choosing dishes – order something that tourists could simply heat up on their own at home and would eat it with pleasure.
Meals that survive the reheating process are best ordered, he says, simply because the food needs to be properly prepared when it's served to passengers. Because pasta has to be served with a certain texture to be palatable, it is considered to be one of the food that suffers the most on board an aircraft.
Similarly, dishes that require a lot of fresh ingredients, such as salads, are also unlikely to be tasty, because the quality of the food after some storage simply will not be as good, i.e. these are already “stale” dishes. “We are not a restaurant – we cannot go to the market in the morning, choose all the freshest and make it the special dish of the day,” the aviation expert explained.
Instead of pasta or anything else that can lose its appearance and turn into a mess when reheated, you should order a stew if possible. “We can simmer it and reheat it over and over and it will still be a stew,” he added.
Furthermore, food in the sky won’t taste as good as travelers expect, because The taste buds are affected by the difference in cabin pressure, and this reduces the level of oxygen in the blood. In other words, the part of the nervous system that reacts to smells becomes less sensitive, which further impairs the sense of smell.
However, the British expert is not the only one who advises to ignore the pasta on the plane. So, Dr. Charles Platkin and part-time executive director of the American College Food Policy Center previously said that tourists can feel bad when they eat during the flight. He analyzed a number of aviation meals and warned that high-carbohydrate foods will not saturate the body, but will make you feel wildly tired upon arrival: “Eating a lot of heavy carbohydrates, such as pasta with thick sauces, bread, muffins or cakes, will make you feel lethargic, capricious, unsatisfied and dissatisfied with what they have eaten. Your blood sugar will spike and then drop, which will negatively affect your well-being.”
However, there is a strange way that can improve the taste of bland food on the plane. According to Oxford professor Charles Spence, wearing noise canceling headphones can improve the quality of both food and drink. Professor Spence, the taste and food expert who wrote Gastrophysics: The New Science of Food, previously told The Telegraph: “Wearing noise canceling headphones is actually one of the easiest ways to improve the taste of food and drink at its best. Low cabin pressure, dry cabin air, and loud engine noise all contribute to our being unable to taste or smell food or drink.”
Suppressing aircraft engine hum with headphones will help, because , as it turned out, low sounds can also make the taste of food more bitter by 10%. At the same time, a study by scientist at the Fat Duck restaurant Heston Blumenthal also found that listening to high-pitched sounds can make food taste up to 10% sweeter. “It must be said that the effect was small, but it was enough to potentially affect the tasting in the air,” he summarized the results of his experiment.
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