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The Secret Ingredient Which Could Make Airline Food Taste Better – Umami

The discovery of umami as a taste came in 1907 by Japanese chemical professor, Kikunae Ikeda. It’s a fascinating piece of the gastronomic evolution puzzle, making sense of why we love the food we love.  World-renowned celebrity chef and mad kitchen scientist, Chef Heston Blumenthal is now working with British Airways to create a tasty umami-rich menu which will be served to passengers. It is the “secret ingredient” which will make airline food taste better.  It is believed that umami-rich foods preserve their flavour when eaten at high altitudes.

Photo credit: pussnboots on Visual Hunt

British Airways believes that by using this secret ingredient it will increase the culinary appeal of the airline’s food. We are talking about creating food to taste so fantastic that people will rave about it!  This menu will include dishes such as Iberico ham, chorizo, Cumbre de Trujillo cheese with a tomato and olive dressing, classic Tuna Nicoise and penne a la carbonara with peppers.

On the whole, airline food has a reputation which isn’t that. Food which seems palatable while you are on the ground just doesn’t taste the same when you are flying. This will all change if umami-rich foods are introduced.

The secret ingredient which could make airline food just taste better is known as umami. Basically, the body has four different taste pallets – sweet, salty, sour and bitter. It is believed that umami is the fifth taste.

Umami tastes the same whether you are eating it on the ground, in the terminal food court or flying over the Pacific Ocean.

What are Umami-Rich Foods?

The key to creating more a flavoursome airline food is to incorporate these umami-rich foods into an airline menu.  There are a number of foods which are considered umami-rich. Some umami-rich foods include:

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Seaweed
  • Worcestershire Sauce

These foods can be mixed with other non-umami rich foods to create a tastier dish.

This may be the great game changer in the airline industry and we just might fall in love with the food and completely change your perception of airline food forever!

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