Each week, my Meal of the Week feature examines an airline meal from my travels over the years. This may be a meal from earlier in the week or it may be a meal served over a decade ago.
What’s the easiest way to avoid offending passengers while still denying them a meal choice onboard? Offer everyone vegetarian pasta.
A recent flight from Frankfurt to Istanbul reminded me of what Lufthansa has done well for years; keep people fed while keeping catering costs under control.
Meal service began shortly after takeoff. All passengers were simply offered a meal on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. When there is no choice, the dish does not even have to be described.
The tray included a bread roll, a pesto salad, and pasta with “arrabbiata” sauce. I put arrabbiata (a spicy sauce made from garlic, tomatoes, and dried red chili peppers cooked in olive oil) in quotes because it sure tasted like plain old tomato sauce to me. I am fairly tolerant to spicy food but did not taste even a hint of spiciness. There was also no cheese.
That said, it’s tough to complain about a simple pasta dish. And that is exactly the point. It may not make anyone smile but it also won’t make anyone frown. It also doesn’t smell or make a mess.
Lufthansa has perfected the art, but is hardly alone in offering passengers an unoffending vegetarian pasta.
What is your favorite innocuous airline dish?