The food on my plane yesterday was not only the worst food I’ve ever eaten on a plane but was also possibly the worst food I’ve ever eaten, including hot elementary school lunches, in my entire life. It made me realize that aside from the rare situation of being served something gross in someone’s home who I don’t know very well, I really have very little occasion to force myself to choke down bad food and haven’t for years. I eat plenty of mediocre food, but mostly foodwise I live a charmed and spoiled life. My family is full of talented, creative cooks and I am a pretty decent cook and I live in a city that has a stunning variety of readily available delicacies, some of which are cheap enough that I could eat them every day if I wanted to. So I would like to thank Aeroflot, really, for allowing me this opportunity to count my blessings. Om, etc.
Okay, but seriously. This is an airline that has the resources with which to publish not only a standard in-flight magazine but also an additional thick glossy “Aeroflot Style” magazine full of bilingual assessments of spas and Cartier jewelry and the latest from Rick Owens, so what the fuck is it doing serving its passengers meals that have been in a freezer since before the Berlin wall came down? It doesn’t seem like a wise allocation of resources. Also not to nitpick but the in-flight entertainment system crapped out 10 minutes into ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and they did not really even apologize. I was enjoying watching it with the sound off; Anne Hathaway is really good at facial expressions. So lunch then grabbed my full attention.
Lunch was a pinkish hockey puck with a curdled consistency floating under a coating of brown aluminum-flavored gelatin. I know the standard joke about airline food is “you couldn’t even tell what it was supposed to be” but I really couldn’t. I mean, I would have assumed ‘salmon’ based on its pinkness and its fishy smell, but how then to explain its roundness and its spoiled-ricotta texture? The side “salad” was a piece of rotting brown lettuce, a slimy slice of cucumber, and three pieces of gummy smoked meat and a piece of cheese. I ate the cheese on a piece of stale bread and then I starved to the point where, five hours later, I was really hotly anticipating dinner.
Dinner was along the same lines but instead of the hockey puck there were little cubes of tinny-tasting unidentifiable long-dead meat floating in the brown gelatin, and the dessert was a stale cookie with a wizard on the package.
I’m going to go get an egg sandwich on a bagel. I’m sad to be back in America but I am excited to eat American food.