A foodies guide to: The Sky
We spoke to the professionals about all the things you need to know when choosing what to dine on when flying.
We spoke to On Air Dining who creates á la carte meals for use aboard aircraft and their CEO took us through the complex processes involved in creating the food we eat whilst airborne. What we learnt was enlightening, and goes to show why you’re best off leaving it to the experts.
What a lot of people don’t know, is that food does not taste the same in the air as it does on the ground. That’s because our sense of taste, especially when it comes to salt in particular is roughly half in the air what it is in the ground. Because of this, we have to do things like add extra sea salt to every dish or pay closer attention to other flavours that suffer less in the air. Flavour is paramount, so to make sure we pack as much in we always try to fill every dish with Umami, which is also known as the fifth sense. Umami stimulates the palate, the back of the mouth and the throat, so is ideal for ensuring flyers get the most out of their food. You’ll find Umami in foods looks mushrooms, tomatoes, and parmesan and soya sauce, amongst others.
We incorporate these flavours into our dishes using the ‘sous vide’ process (French for 'without air’) which allows for perfect cooking of the product from edge to edge. We use this technique for all the proteins and vegetables we use. Unlike with a conventional oven, where the outside of the product is cooked more than the inside, meaning there is a much higher risk of over cooking and drying out or under cooking and being raw, the sous vide process means it’s cooked equally throughout. The product is sealed, the flavour and colour is kept and it even enhances the flavour. This is hugely important in an aircraft where 50% of your taste is lost through altitude and dryness.
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