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Why Does Airplane Food Taste Bad? Science Has the Answer

Gone are the days when airplane travel was distinguished and seen as an event.  The food was amazing and the experience was second to none, but nowadays airplane travel has become just another way to travel.  Chefs used to fly on airplanes preparing 3-4 course meals and now you are lucky to get peanuts and a soda.  So why does the food on an airplane taste so bad?

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Gone are the days when airplane travel was distinguished and seen as an event.  The food was amazing and the experience was second to none, but nowadays airplane travel has become just another way to travel.  Chefs used to fly on airplanes preparing 3-4 course meals and now you are lucky to get peanuts and a soda.  So why does the food on an airplane taste so bad?
 
How come all the food on an airplane tastes horrible and why am I still eating it? If you’ve ever asked yourself that question and you have never found an answer, well don’t fret, there is research!  A new study from Cornell University has come up with an answer, and guess what? It ain’t bad cookin’.  

Science always finds the way and if you look hard enough, you are going to find an answer to any question.

Turns out, the noisy environment inside a claustrophobic airplane cabin may actually change the way food tastes.

In the study, 48 people were handed a variety of solutions that were spiked with the five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami (basically, a Japanese word for the savory flavor found in foods like bacon, tomatoes, cheese, and soy sauce). First, the testers sipped in silence, then again, while wearing headsets that played about 85 decibels of noise, designed to mimic the hum of jet engines onboard a plane.

What the researchers found: While there wasn’t that much of a change in how the salty, sour, and bitter stuff tasted, the noisy surroundings dulled the sweet taste, while intensifying the savory one—which might explain why a meal eaten on a plane will usually seem a little, well, off.

“Our study confirmed that in an environment of loud noise, our sense of taste is compromised. Interestingly, this was specific to sweet and umami tastes, with sweet taste inhibited and umami taste significantly enhanced,” said Robin Dando, assistant professor of food science. “The multisensory properties of the environment where we consume our food can alter our perception of the foods we eat.”

This isn’t the first time airlines have tried to figure out the reason behind funky in-flight food. The Fraunhofer Institute, a research institute based in Germany, did a study on why a dish that would taste just fine on the ground would taste, “so dull in the air,” as Grant Mickles, the executive chef for culinary development of Lufthansa’s LSG Sky Chefs, put it to Conde Naste Traveler

German researchers tried taste tests at both sea level and in a pressurized condition. The tests revealed that the cabin atmosphere—pressurized at 8,000 feet—combined with cool, dry cabin air numbed the taste buds (kind of like when you’ve got a bad cold). In fact, the perception of saltiness and sweetness dropped by around 30% at high altitude. Multiplying the misery: The stagnant cabin dries out the mucus membranes in the nose, thus dulling the olfactory sensors that affect taste. All of which adds up to a less-than-fine dining experience.

The good news: This research may help airlines find a way to make in-the-air meals more palatable. (That is, for flights and airlines that still offer any food at all!)

The key, according to Mickles, may be using ingredients or foods that contain a lot of umami to enhance the other flavors. He may be on to something: The folks at the Lufthansa have found that passengers guzzle as much tomato juice as beer (to the tune of about 425,000 gallons a year). Turns out, cabin pressure brings out the savory taste of the red stuff.

Good to know. Now pass the earplugs—and bring on the Bloody Marys.

 

 

Check out the full article over at Health.com

Photos Courtesy of InfinateLegroom, Thrillist

 

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Food

The Best Beaches Of The Biggest Cities

Big cities are home to some of the best beaches in the world. You just have to know the right city…

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     There is nothing quite like hitting the beach. Some of our big cities are home to some of the best beaches in the world… you really just need to be in the know. Without further ado, put on that sunscreen (we recommend Doc Block), grab your largest sun hat, comfiest beach towel, and plenty of water to enjoy a day (or night) at these big-city beaches.

Miami Beach, Miami
     This is an obvious first choice for the list. Miami is one of the few cities where you consider the beach before you think about the rest of the place. No matter what you’re looking for you can find it at the beautiful Miami Beach. You can party amongst your peers or enjoy a beach that is buzzing with energy. Or you can head up to the north side where you can really stretch your legs out and have some more space to yourself. Miami Beach is iconic – once you see it you’ll understand why. Miami is definitely a special city.

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu
     Honolulu is a big city… but this beach happens to be in Hawaii. The beach here is known as Waikiki and it brings in tourists from all around the world. You can surf, paddleboard, or just relax on the sand all up and down this marvelous coast. Hanging out can tend to get a bit crowded since this beach is so popular but it is so magnificent. You will hardly notice all the people. Honolulu is a super fun city as well, but again, don’t forget to stop by Waikiki.

Santa Monica State Beach, Los Angeles
     Everyone knows this beach because of the remarkable Santa Monica Pier. The Ferris Wheel is iconic… there’s no question about it. Nothing compares. Tourists and locals alike flock to Santa Monica State Beach to enjoy the waves and all the fun family games located on the pier. If you get bored on the beach then you’re only a short walk away from awesome shopping at the 3rd Street Promenade.

Revere Beach, Boston
     Named after Paul Revere, the Revere Beach has a history to match the great American icon. This sandy spot is the oldest public beach in the country, so maybe this is where Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, and friends would hang-ten. This beach is not usually over-crowded so you can really enjoy the Atlantic here as well as exploring the history. Bring a metal detector and who knows, you might find one of Benjamin Franklin’s beer steins. 


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Food

Biting Down On The Best BBQ Joints Across America

If you love barbecue, you’ll want to have this list of the places across the country!

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Americans can’t help it – BBQ is loved. It’s as American as baseball and apple pie. But with a plethora of BBQ joints out there, it’s hard to know which ones are actually worth it. Here, now, are the absolute best BBQ spots in the country. Enjoy!

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina barbecue takes a slow-cook approach, but they’re all about the sauce. Specifically, the question of which one to use! There are four common sauces in South Carolina: light tomato, heavy tomato, vinegar and pepper, and mustard. So might as well try all four by visiting Q2U Pitt and Catering, Besieger’s BBQ, or Sticky Fingers.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

Naturally, Memphis made its way on this list. They have some of the best BBQ ribs in the world in Memphis. You can get them dry, meaning the pork is given a spice rub before the cook, or wet, involving a delicious sauce being applied to the ribs before, during, and after the cook! The best spots in Memphis are definitely The Bar-B-Q Shop, Leonard’s Pit Barbecue, and Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous.

ALABAMA

Alabama’s claim to barbecue fame lies in their introduction of the first white sauce. The man that invented it, “Big” Bob Gibson, didn’t like the way typical vinegar-based sauces paired with his chicken. So he developed a tangy mayonnaise variety that fans have been loving ever since. Dreamland Bar-B-Que locations are all across the state and worth a stop, and Golden Rule and Full Moon BBQ are the other can’t miss joints.

TEXAS IN GENERAL

Naturally, Texas has some of the best barbecue in the country. There are different styles throughout the state, from slow-cooked, mesquite style of Central Texas, to the barbacoa Mexican-style of South Texas, to the extremely slow-cooked style of East Texas. Some of the best spots include Snow’s BBQ, Lamberts, Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, Franklin Barbecue, and Iron Works BBQ.

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

St. Louis takes barbecue so seriously it has its own style. It revolves around grilling the meat and then applying some delicious sauce after the cook. The sauce is typically tomato-based and has a sweetness to it. The best BBQ spots in St. Louis are Salt + Smoke and SugarFire Smokehouse.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

Just like it’s friends over in St. Louis, Kansas City has a BBQ style all their own. They like to prepare the meat with a spice rub, slow-cook it over various woods, and then douse it in some tomato-based sauce. The best spots in Kansas City are probably Car Bar, Jack Stack BBQ, Gates Bar-B-Q, Joe’s Kansas City BBQ, LC’s Bar-BQ, Q39, and Plowboys Barbecue.

 

SANTA MARIA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

The central coast area of California has a rich history of Spanish-style barbecue, which involves the meat being rolled in salt and pepper based rub and cooked over a red-oak fire. It’s also usually accompanied with some salsa, beans, and bread. The best spots in the area are The Hitching Post, Far Western Tavern, and Shaw’s Steakhouse.

NORTH CAROLINA

In North Carolina, it’s all about smoking pork over hardwood coals. They have two different styles in the state. First, the Eastern style prefers to slow-cook an entire pig, while the Lexington style involves simply smoking just the pork shoulder. The best spots in the state are Skylight Inn BBQ, Sam Jones BBQ, Lexington Barbecue, and Buxton Hall Barbecue.

WESTERN KENTUCKY

The thing that makes barbecue from Western Kentucky so unique is their use of a rarely used meat: mutton. Kentucky has always had a large sheep population, so it makes sense that they’ve used the meat for so long. They also tend to use a more vinegary sauce than other areas. The spots you have to hit if you find yourself in Western Kentucky are Old Hickory Bar-B-Que, Ole South Bar-B-Q, and Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn.


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Food

4 Classy Things to Know About Australian Wine

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Did you know that there are 10,000 different types of wine grapes in the world? If you love wine, then you should see that as a challenge to try them all.

You may be surprised to learn that Australia is known for its unique wine varieties. Although the country often makes us think of kangaroos and boomerangs, you could visit there for an awesome wine-tasting experience instead.

Are you wondering what you’ve been missing out on? Keep reading to learn about 4 classy things related to Australian wine.

1. The Wine Regions

There are a lot of different wine regions to explore in Australia. First off, there’s the South Australia zone, which is comprised of Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, and others.

There’s also New South Wales, which has Hastings River, the Canberra District, Lachlan Valley, and Shoalhaven Coast, to name a handful.

Another large zone is Western Australia. This is where you’ll find Margaret River, Perth Hills, Warren Valley, and more. If you’re already getting overwhelmed with the number of options, you should book one of the best D’Vine Wine Tours.

The other major regions are the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, and Tasmania.

2. White Wines

You’ll be glad to know that there’s a classy selection of Aussie white wines. The most popular is chardonnay. Depending on which vineyard you visit, you can expect the expression to fluctuate between a fruity taste and an earthy one.

If you want to try something completely different, you can opt for a glass of Riesling, Vermentino, or Semillon.

3. Red Wines

The Land Down Under doesn’t neglect its red wines. In fact, the Shiraz is one of the most popular red-grape wines in the country. Unlike in colder places, the Shiraz there has a richer plum flavor.

Additionally, you won’t want to miss out on Australia’s full-body Merlot. Depending on the region you visit, you might be able to spot an oaky aftertaste.

4. Natural Wines

If you’re a fan of natural wine, you’ll be glad to know that business is booming in Australia. There are many independent vineyards focusing on natural methods. This is paving the way for a revolution in the wine industry.

You’ll find many natural wine businesses around the country, such as Ochota Barrels and Gentle Folk in the Adelaide Hills. Western Australia also has a good variety of natural wine vineyards, such as Blind Corner, La Violetta, and Si Vintners.

Even if you’re all the way in McLaren Vale, you can still pop into Brash Higgins for a phenomenal glass of natural wine.

Are You Ready to Try Australian Wine?

Now that you’ve learned about 4 classy things related to Australian wine, you’re ready to try everything the beautiful country has to offer. The ancient Greek gods drank wine for a reason. With a glass of Australian wine in each hand, you can feel absolutely divine.

If you’re a foodie, then you won’t want to miss out on all the latest culinary news and recipes. You can stay up to date by bookmarking our site.

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