Make airplane food taste better

Airplane food has its share of critics – mostly harsh – but there’s a clever professor (is that a tautology?) who reckons he knows how to make nasty airline food taste a little better.

It’s fairly common knowledge that airplane cabin pressure and dry air dulls sensory perception – and this includes taste. But recent studies have also revealed that the constant thrumming noise of airplane engines also deadens our perceptions of sweetness and enhances reception of savoury flavours.

Professor Charles Spence, author of Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating – that clever professor we were talking about earlier – thinks these simple tips will help to enhance your sense of taste (for better or worse).

“Donning a pair of noise-cancelling headphones could actually be one of the simplest ways in which to make food and drink taste better at altitude.”

Other chefs believe that listening to soundscapes containing lots of tinkling and high-pitched notes may also accentuate our perception of sweetness. These soundscapes could potentially be delivered via movie soundtrack on one of the onboard films.

Although Prof Spence may disagree. He says that you should press pause on your movie and focus on the food you’re eating (again, for better or worse).

Says the professor: “According to ground-based research you ought to find that you enjoy your food a little more while, at the same time, find yourself satisfied with less of it.”

What’s your trick for making airplane food taste better? Or do you just grin and bear it? Or perhaps you enjoy it? Can you recommend an airline with good food onboard?

Related articles:
Dark secrets behind plane food
Fight attendants divulge food facts
How flying affects your body

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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