I don’t know how much flying you do! I might fly say twice a year, maybe 3 times and for the most part it’s not been an issue for me. Now when we start talking about some of the amenities in air flight, well that’s a horse of a different color. Seats these days have really gotten small and closer together and for guy with my wing span 6’3″ it gets a little confining. The food too is not often my favorite. Certainly better than hospital food but then what isn’t. I have to say the food we had going to London and coming back was not bad. But have ever noticed that even things you might bring yourself seem to taste different at 35,000 feet than they do at sea level.? If you’ve ever brought a favorite treat along to enjoy on a flight — a special chocolate bar, stacked-high sandwich, or flaky pastry, say — you might have noticed it didn’t taste as great at 35,000 feet It’s not just you. Flying has a very real effect on the smell and taste of food and drinks for a number of reasons. Remember too, that taste and smell are inextricably combined, so what affects your sense of smell impacts tastes big-time. Pressurized cabins lower blood oxygen levels, and that reduces the ability of olfactory receptors. And the constantly circulating, super-dry air of the airplane cabin—an average 12 percent humidity, lower than that of the Sahara Desert—directly affects the nose. “Low moisture and air movement will dry the nasal passages and this reduces odor and taste sensitivity,” says Stone, who adds that when the exact same food is tested at sea level, “it will be rated as stronger and more intense.” Then there’s the noise—the drone of the airplane’s engines, the baby screeching in the back row—also affects how food tastes. Additional research has shown that no matter the environment, flavor perception is dampened by loud background sounds. “Salt is perceived to be between 20 and 30 percent less intense and sugar 15 to 20 percent less intense, at high altitude, according to research that was conducted for Lufthansa. The perception of fruity aromas and acids is by contrast more stable,” And this might be a conservative estimate: “In the air you lose almost 70 percent of your sense of taste,” says Antonio Fernandez, AeroMexico’s senior vice president for on-board product. Considering all of these factors, it’s not a big surprise that the salted caramel macaron that explodes your taste buds with flavor on the ground tastes like a ghost of itself in the air Whether you order on board, buy food at the airport, or bring your meal from home, keep in mind that simple, healthy foods are what most chefs who are frequent fliers choose: Fruit and cheese plates, Asian stir-fries; and vegetable soups like carrot or tomato. And maybe throw one of those travel-size bottles of hot sauce into your carry-on bag.
Bon Appetite and happy landings!!