Posts Tagged ‘travel’

finally airline food

October 14, 2010

“The level of background noise affects both the intensity of flavour and the perceived crunchiness of foods, researchers have found”, says a headline I find in today’s BBC news-feed. This, the attached article claims “may go some way to explaining why airline food is notoriously bland – a phenomenon that drives airline catering companies to heavily season their foods.”

It is certainly a phenomenon that drives travelers nuts. As usual, the spice lies in the word “may”. So the fact that the Japanese-style meal I had on a flight between Amsterdam and Tokyo was really quite acceptable may have its cause in JAL over-seasoning their foods, but it may also be that they fly with silent planes. It may, on the other hand, be that the pasta-horror SAS tried to serve me once on an Copenhagen-Detroit trip, over-cooked on one side, cold on the other, and miles away from being heavily seasoned according to any style, was one of those deplorable exceptions from the rule because, “I’m sure airlines do their best,” (more…)


culinary greenland

February 24, 2008

On my way from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaqu, the international airport of Greenland, I had three things to think about. The first was that I was hungry. I had arrived in the hotel late and hungry, the bar was closed, there were only tiny bags of peanuts available and I needed my three hours of sleep before the 5:00 A.M. check-in. At noon, halfway across the Hudson bay, I was still hungry, even though sounds and smells were beginning to emanate from the front of the plane that announced an improvement of my condition. The second thing I was worrying about was how I was supposed to eat my meal, once it had arrived. I could, in fact, hardly breathe – wedged against the windowpane of the battered B-727 (not such a big plane) by a set of frontier-culture shoulders, owned by a muscular person shorter than wide, who didn’t communicate (since I survived, I believe that I managed somehow).

Third, and that is the introduction I intended to write, I was rehearsing Greenlandian food in my mind. If you are the father of two children (seven and ten years old at the time) who eat their breakfasts from their special “Save The Seals” plates every morning, you’d better not risk having to answer difficult questions. No seals, in other words. How about Whale? The airline brochure made a great point of telling the tourist that Greenland hunts only non-endangered kinds of whale – so yes, perhaps whale. Maybe no whale blubber. I forget why I thought that. (more…)