Before I report on the wonders organised by Cinnamon for my visit, could I just take a moment to talk about airplane food? Seriously, here I am setting off on an exciting adventure – Carolinian barbeque, French crème bruléed by Le Chef and what not else – but before I can get to all of that, I have to be put through a trial. Panicky taxi driver to Victoria station, being asked for extra ID in the check-in queue (“purely routine”, she assured me twice – that’s what made it so suspicious…), and a Cantonese wayang diva at the check-in desk. When the meal service started, having laughed and cried at this comic strip that describes all too well the dining options on Transatlantic flights, I expected “beef or pasta” to look not very different from each other. However, I was surprised.
The last time I flew this airline, the pasta was overcooked and limp, drowned in a watery tomato sauce, and served alongside sugar-high inducing processed carbohydrates. This time, though, the pasta looked attractively liked it had been cooked in an oven, and the beef was juicy (and also free of fat and those weird tendony things that you normally bite into). Both dishes even came with – gasp – a salad! So, things looked like they’d improved. Until I took a bite into the carrot. I should’ve known when my husband said he was putting the salad aside for it to defrost…
So, the veggies didn’t pass my standards. But if you’ve read about my vegetable addiction before, you might suspect that I’d have come prepared. Last night, instead of going to bed early to recover from my cold, I spent a fair bit of time sautéing carrots, courgettes, asparagus and peppers, all in a little bit of olive oil. Together with some brown bread and a fillet of soy sauce salmon from Dr Oz’s book, I’m pretty much covered for this flight. Yes, I’m a bit sleep deprived from all the prep last night, but eating this way has its advantages. First, I’m not feeling overwhelmed by salt in an environment that’s pretty dehydrating as it is - I read recently that airlines add a lot of salt to the food, because taste buds don’t function so well at high altitudes, and they want passengers to think the food tastes good (although you wouldn’t have thought that was an objective airlines had in mind...). Secondly, I don’t have to wait the hours it usually takes the meal service to start. And finally, I feel like, with the prelude of all these veggies, I can enjoy that delicious Southern barbeque and crème brulee with that little bit less guilt!
Can’t wait, Cinnamon!