Airline Meals, Part Four: You’ll Never Guess What Was Edible

Airplane food.  If you’re flying between Newark and Honolulu – ~ ten and half hours flight time, excluding delays – and you’re in economy class, you better stock up on those mostly-filled-with-air bags of chips after security so that you can avoid extra stress espoused by the mostly-filled-with-air TSA agents before security.  It wasn’t too long ago that we had free meals in economy class on the majority of flights in the US, but it’s because we once did, that it’s become another one of our trendy grievances.  If that’s the case, I’d like to be able to bring my boom box onto the subway once again, primarily because it wouldn’t be any louder than your conversation…

Oops, another tangent.  Ah, but how many of you miss in-flight slop anyway?  Neither the airline chiefs nor fans of warm, inviting bread rolls, to be sure.  Though if you do wax nostalgic about those times, you have a few unreasonable options.  Fly business class, for one.  See, unreasonable.  How about bargain with a business class passenger for his/her meal?  Right, try getting past those translucent curtains.  Buy a tray and its accompanying tray rack?  Heh, now you’re just being fascinating.  Let’s go with option four, that being fly Garuda Indonesia.

Garuda Indonesia, UPG-MDC - Lebaran Meal
Before you start uttering selamat makan – bon appétit – this lunch, on a flight between Makassar and Manado, was no triumph in the world of aviation catering.  As a matter of fact, the item to the right of the rice – the clump that looks more like a rainy season souvenir – was all fat. Also, does that hand wipe say “refreshing taco?”  Wouldn’t that be the day.  In any event, I’d like you to take a closer look at this meal and identify the only thing I ended up eating.

Get your mind off of the taco.

The answer: the carefully packaged kurma, or date.  It was only there due to my flying in the month of Ramadan, a time when Muslims ordinarily would be fasting during daylight hours.  Traveling, particularly by flight, is an exception to the rule, and dates are a popular treat for breaking the fast.  If you didn’t notice them any other month in Indonesia, you will for Ramadan.


Do you like to eat dates?  No, I’m not talking about long pig

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About buildingmybento

Bread, olive oil Waking up in Nakagin Sure does sound like me
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10 Responses to Airline Meals, Part Four: You’ll Never Guess What Was Edible

  1. andrea says:

    Oh god. Always an adventure with the inflight meals, eh?

  2. acbearce says:

    Oh god, always an adventure with the inflight meals, eh?

  3. I can clearly see it’s tissue and not taco. And what is that? Rendang? Looks pretty good to me. And I like dates. Are you sure you’re not just being picky? 🙂

    • When I was editing the photo, I seriously thought it said taco. It could be a sign that a food stall excursion to Mexico City is in the cards too. Maybe it’s neither;)

      It wasn’t rendang because the sauce hadn’t a lick of coconut. It was all lemak (fat)!

      Also, dates are great. That’s what the blog post title referred to…

  4. expatlingo says:

    While Air India’s planes may not be the newest or cleanest, their in-flight food might be the tastiest. I was sadly disappointed with Emirates food to Istanbul last month. On the way back from Istanbul to Hong Kong, I simply ate in the airports and knocked myself out with Tylenol PM.

    • I could see that with Air India- After all, I do often request a Hindu meal! What did Emirates serve you? They’d be a good airline with which to compare special meals.

      As for IST airport, I was spoiled by the choices in the TK lounge, but in the event that you transit through there again, ignore the awful, overpriced food court and get some snacks at the supermarket in the basement, by the entrance to the metro. Better yet, a bunch of European airports – and SIN – have supermarkets en situ.

  5. Pingback: A Smattering of Food in Chinatown, China « buildingmybento

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