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Delta One

A trip to Europe gave me a chance to try some food that I normally don’t get to eat---Delta One’s food service. Sleep is an important commodity on long flights but when I saw that the menu had been prepared by Linton Hopkins, I knew that I had to stay up long enough to eat. I wanted to see how he presented Southern food for this very international audience. I also wanted to see how he designed the food to handle the long hold times and reheating inherent in airline food. (Sorry, I’m a nerd and I can’t help thinking about these sorts of things.)

We started with a dish of Georgia pecans. They were very nicely spiced with a bit of heat.

The next course included several small items. The salad was an interesting exercise in minimalism: two large leaves and pickled red onion. But it was good. The charcuterie, including beef salami and potatoes, was tasty as well. The squash soup was wonderful, with outstanding spices and a dollop of collard greens as an unusual garnish. The roll was excellent.

I had to try the chicken pot pie for my main course. The vegetables had been only lightly cooked and presented a lot of veggie flavor. The meat was very tender and juicy. The filling was held together not by a white gravy, as is typical, but by mashed potatoes. I’m sure that the potatoes are easier to transport and reheat than the gravy would have been.

For the big finish, I had both cheese and sweets. At this point, the stewardess was my active accomplice in enjoying the meal. “Everyone else is asleep and all this will go to waste!” she said. The Georgia cheeses were very nice; I particularly enjoyed the hard cheese. The toffee cake was very sweet and moist. I ate only a little bit (this was essentially the fifth course, after all) but it was very enjoyable.

At this point, I could finally go to sleep, deeply satisfied with a meal that would have been very enjoyable even on the ground, let alone in the air.

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