This is the question that resides in the heart of travelers all around the world. They have always been complaining about the grades of food that is served in the airplanes. It does not matter what is the type of food being served; it is always lacking the taste and the quality. The meals that are served in the air are usually low graded than their ground counterparts. After being bugged with this question for a long time, we thought of consulting the popular executive chef Grant Mickels, who is working on the development of Lufthansa’s LSG Sky Chefs. When Grant told us the reason, we were shocked to great magnitude.
Grant Mickels pointed out the fact that when you are flying so high, taste is the first thing that chefs take care of, rather than the quality of the food. He also added that it is the way you experience the food on an airplane and the quality should not be blamed for the same. There has been a research regarding the same in the Fraunhofer Institute which is a research organization located in Germany and they made a study on why a dish deemed to be tasty on ground tends to be ugly on air. When the researchers made their study both at the sea level and in the air, the difference in tastes were shocking.
The tests that have been conducted regarding this study have proved that at 8000 feet in the air, the cool and dry air of the cabin makes the taste of the food go awful. It is the same when you eat food while being cold. The experience of eating in an airplane is the same as suffering with cold. Grant Mickels also stated that our perception and reaction scale to salty and sweet things go down by 30 percent at high altitudes. The dry and cool air in the cabin also plays an instrumental role in burying down the taste of the food and makes you taste the food in a totally different way than you would at the sea level.
The taste buds are literally muted while taking a journey in the plane. The journey of the food from cabin to the plate also does not help the cause, as reported by Harold McGee, who is a scientist and an author to “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen”. The food once prepared is kept into cool conditions and stored until the right time comes for its transfer to the passengers. This can take a few hours and it really does not help the cause a single bit. The food gets warm and once it is kept in the cold conditions, it starts to dry up in taste. The meat also becomes very tough and you simply cannot do anything about it.
Amidst all these problems in airline food, Lufthansa is looking for solutions in order to improve the food experience of its passengers.