Can Airplane Food Improve?


Airplane food is usually pretty bland and gross, but is that the fault of airlines or our taste buds?

According to an article in the Times, when an airplane takes off, the change in air pressure numbs about 30 percent of our taste buds. This is apparently why we like to drink a lot of tomato juice and bad Merlot on planes: Only super-strong flavors can stimulate our in-flight palates.

Airlines, especially Delta and Lufthansa, have studied the science of airplane food for years. But their efforts to serve their first-class and business-class passengers some world-class grub have been hampered by cost cutbacks. Now, as the Times reports, many domestic carriers are trying to catch up with their European and Asian competition by investing more in good in-flight food. Soon, if you can afford the business-class ticket, you’ll be able to enjoy a meal designed by one of the country’s top chefs, like Michael Chiarello, who is currently a consultant for Delta. Let’s hope your taste buds are up to the task.


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