Flying is often stressful. Between check-in lines, security checkpoints, and delays at the gate, most travelers say flying is very stressful. Now one airline is using airline food and science to create an airplane menu that actually relaxes travelers during the flight.
According to The Sun, low-cost U.K. carrier Monarch Airlines just rolled out a new “mood food” menu of snacks to de-stress passengers during flights.
Oxford food psychologist Charles Spence, who worked with Heston Blumenthal at Fat Duck, and chef Jozef Youssef developed a menu of “mood-enhancing snacks” designed to make specific parts of the flight less stressful for passengers.
According to the Monarch Airlines website, passengers are given black ice cream with liquorice and echinacea before takeoff. The echinacea and liquorice are designed to boost immunity, and the black color is surprising and distracts passengers from the fact that the plane is about to take off.
Next, passengers get lavender and green tea mochi rice cakes. The lavender is meant to be calming and help passengers get ready to sleep, while the green tea is designed as an immunity booster.
About 30 minutes into flights, attendants pass out herbal tea to fight bloating and aid digestion. That comes with a seaweed biscuit, which is crunchy and has a strong umami flavor. Flying inhibits taste perception, but that salty, umami flavor still tastes good at 30,000 feet. That’s why tomato juice and Bloody Mary cocktails taste so good on airplanes.
After landing, passengers get a caramelized nut bar with mushroom and tomato powder “to re-energise and awaken the senses as passengers arrive at their destination.”