High Altitude Food

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Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my family travelled to Portugal. Though we missed our usual traditional feast, we stuffed our faces full of regional specialties like fresh seafood, and hanging skewers of BBQ meat (which are just as thrilling as they sound).

During our trip home, the cart went by, and my boyfriend and I were earnestly entreated to choose between “Shrimp, or Veal?” Both options seemed exorbitantly optimistic for the circumstances.  “Veal?” we both replied skeptically.

Like classic plane food of yesteryear, the protein came enclosed in some sort of aluminum contraption, surrounded by classic accoutrement. The food wasn’t horrendous, but it certainly wasn’t all that good. And, to be honest I think the veal was just plain beef.  Whether that miscommunication was a translation issue or simply a ploy to make the food sound fancier and more appealing than it actually was, I’ll never know.

After reluctantly eating my dinner, I was immediately reminded of a trip I took about two years ago; wherein which, upon returning home, I decided that I simply couldn’t settle for the run-of-the-mill junk that they were sure to serve on my flight. I was coming back from Paris, of all places, and it seemed to me that I should make the most of the food mecca from whence I came and pack myself a deluxe meal for the ride.

I bought a baguette, some cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, a vegetable terrine. And, oh yeah, a confit cornish game hen stuffed with liver paté. Yes, that’s right, I brought that shit on a plane, and I ate it.

I became momentarily embarrassed when the flight attendants came around to distribute meals, and I pulled out my personal cornish game hen. Who does that? Seriously? To calm my nerves I downed a bunch of red wine, and–long story short– due to turbulence, indulgent wine consumption, and extremely rich food, I ended up puking in the plane bathroom before the flight landed.

Lesson learned: don’t stuff your face with crazy heavy food while on board a long flight. As it turns out, though, plane food has experienced its own little renaissance, so perhaps the gesture was unnecessary to begin with. Airlines are stepping up their game, and trying to appeal to the culinary connoisseurs amongst us.

Whatever, when it comes down to it, I’ll take food on the ground pretty much any day of the week.