The Pure Muck That Is Aer Lingus' Transatlantic Food
I've written in the past about Aer Lingus and the food they serve and I was hugely complimentary about their breakfast. I know it might seem like an unusual topic to cover on a Dublin food blog but the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of tourists arriving in this city do so on an Aer Lingus Jet. For example the tens of thousands of wealthy Americans chasing their roots will order their first Irish culinary experience onboard their flight over and boy are they in for a huge fucking let down.
I've been away for a week and I don't know about you but as soon as I see the emerald green of the Aer Lingus jet I'm already thinking about home no matter how good my trip was. The hosts and hostesses on the plane always feel way friendlier than other airlines as they welcome you in with their "ah sure you are as good as home now" attitude.. As the plane rolled down the runway at JFK I already thought I was back on Irish soil. That is how important and iconic a brand Aer Lingus are to us. The fill us full of nostalgia and pride which they then quickly slap straight out of you by serving the biggest load of muck you will ever taste in your life.
You get a bread roll that tastes as if it was made in 1940 and has been left out in a field for the last 60 years. The salad was about the most bland disgusting thing I've ever tasted with wet sloppy cous cous and I couldn't get beyond the first mouthful. The bread and the salad are like Gordon Ramsey's best 3 star Michelin cooking when you compare it to the chicken casserole main course. I've seen more appetizing piles of vomit outside Flannerys on Camden Street although if you put the two together you'd probably not be able to tell the difference in presentation.
I just don't understand why they don't keep it simple and keep it Irish. How hard could it be to have a couple of nice sausages and some mash with a little cabbage? A wholesome Irish stew using cheaper cuts of meat that have been gently braised and which is still cheap to produce with simple new potatoes and carrots. A little side of wheaten bread on the side. Maybe a little pot of glenillen cheesecake to cheer you up on the misery that is a trans Atlantic flight. I'm not asking for surf and turf here served up with truffle risotto and fine champagnes. Just simple tasty Irish cooking instead of the muck that they serve at the moment.
Look I know the airline business is tough especially when you have the little bollix that is Michael O'Leary sniping away at your heels but for me Aer Lingus is a brand and an experience. Something that we all grew up with in the days when air travel was something more glamorous than it is today. This isn't a money thing. I'd be happy to add 10-20 Euros onto my plane ticket to eat better food and I think most people would as well. Sitting in a tiny chair with a fat smelly bastard on each side drooling on you for 8 hours is a pretty horrendous experience. The only thing apart from the WIFI that makes the trip more enjoyable is a nice little bit of food. I was licking my lips for about an hour before it arrived and even though it was delivered with the biggest smile and wonderful service it tasted so bad I wouldn't have even given it to my dogs under normal circumstances.