The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 06.07.05


Food Fare in the Not So Friendly Skies

Flying on an airplane just isn't what it used to be. The good old days of rubber chicken and microwave apple crumble are a thing of the past, as I learned this past week.

In an effort to keep prices for airline travel at a minimum a no-frills policy has arrived. Unless you want to starve all the way to Hong Kong, you now need to pack some high-flying food and snacks or bring some cold, hard cash for sustenance.

Most airlines now offer a simple menu of pay-on-demand items such as sandwiches and breakfast bars. The problem is that the selections are very limited and leave little room for culinary enjoyment.

Heck, if I have to pay five bucks for a sandwich at 32,000 feet I might as well make a good one myself.

Travelers should be aware that there is some small level of complimentary snacking provided on board. Yep, included in the price of your no-frills ticket is the world's smallest snack item. So, a lesson should be learned here. Prepare for an in- flight hunger attack because as you know, when you cannot have something, you want it very much.

A meal of rubber chicken and green beans starts to sound very good while flying over Witchepeda, Wisconsin, or Drumheller, Alberta. Hey, is that Tim Horton's I see from way up here?

Given that you'll need to pack a snack, you will want to include some prep time to make something that will have other passengers wanting to buy from you instead of the airline.

Here are a couple of simple recipes for joining the mile- high culinary club elite and there will be enough to share or even sell perhaps.

Roast Beef Frequent-Flyer Sandwich

1 loaf crusty Italian Bread
1-pound deli roast beef, rare
Dijon mustard
Freshly cracked black peppercorns
Pinch of coarse kosher salt
Provolone cheese, sliced
Red onion, sliced
Kosher dill pickles
Arugula leaves, washed and trimmed
1 Dill pickle (garnish)
Black pitted olive (garnish)

Slice bread in half horizontally. Dig out excess bread, leaving approximately one inch on the bottom and sides. Slather both halves generously with Dijon mustard, according to taste.

Start building the sandwich with roast beef, add salt (optional) and pepper to taste, Provolone cheese, red onion, dill pickles, and arugula leaves. Replace the top and slice into individual servings. Garnish with pickle and olive.

Passenger-Envy Turkey and Brie Sandwich

Honey roast turkey from deli
Sliced double crème Brie
French bread
Honey mustard

Spread a little mayo on bread, then spread generous amount of mustard. Layer turkey and Brie and top with watercress. Wrap tightly in Saran wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Then slice, wrap, and pack.

Airline Fruit Kebobs

Use any type fresh fruit, i.e., cubed melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon), or strawberries, or grapes, or sliced kiwi, or fresh cubed pineapple, etc. Use decorative toothpicks (wooden or plastic) and make little kebobs with two or three pieces of different fruit and be creative. Serve with the sandwich.