Traveling by plane can be a stressful experience, to say the least. To make the journey more pleasant and avoid hustle in the last day, prepare for the trip in advance – double check the documents, weigh the bag to make sure it is not overweight, and stock your hand baggage with snacks in case plane food won’t meet your expectations.
However, even though the prepared food can help you get through the air delays and avoid insipid plane meal, you won’t be able to enjoy the actual taste of your snacks once the plane reaches the high attitude. At about 30,000 feet, the low pressure, dryness of the air and noisy environment inside the airplane cabin dull your taste buds, sweeping away the appreciation of sweetness and saltiness of the food and drinks. That’s why during the flight, the soft drinks like Sprite do not taste much different from a regular sparkling water.
However, there is one particular flavor that is immune to the pressurized conditions – the umami flavor. Umami is not salty; it is that “fifth taste” that qualifies as both savory and sweet in foods rich in glutamate such as tomatoes, potatoes, and soybeans.
It is common for the food service companies to add umami-rich food in the plane menu. That explains why many hot in-flight dishes are jammed with tomato sauce, soy sauce-based glazes, and mashed potatoes. So, unless you are planning to drink soy sauce, the only beverages that do not lose their taste in high attitude are tomato juice and Bloody Mary. Or you can make your own with this recipe.