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food to bring on a long plane trip

  • t

Sorry, I've started threads on this topic before, but I'm always interested in new ideas for what kinds of foods people pack for long plane trips.

Qualities that foods in my air-picnic basket should have:
--not too messy (can be eaten with fingers or chopsticks)
--not smelly
--not flatulence inducing
--must satisfy the various cravings that might arise (sweet, salty, refreshing, crunchy...)

Any other qualities I'm forgetting?

Items that have been particularly successful:

Clementines, firm cheese, nuts, dried fruit, jerky, cookies, chocolate, apples, salads, sushi...

Any other favorites?

Link: http://meglioranza.com

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  1. We always bring granola bars and natural peanut butter with crackers. (but then I always want some milk with it!)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Val

      They often have milk in the beverage service on the plane. Hey, it doesn't hurt to ask!

      1. re: Dorothy

        I am addicted to Voss Water, I taste the difference and bring several frozen bottles for long flights as well as homemade trail mix.

    2. Good wine. I open the wine at home (red wine) and put into another kind of bottle with a screw top, like a water bottle or soda bottle.

      1. Parmigiano-reggiano and good balsamic (you could cut the parmigiano into a 1/2-inch wedge ahead of time so that you could crumble it on the plane and you wouldn't need a forbidden knife); olives; sun-dried tomatoes; crustless cucumber sandwiches with wasabi; hard-cooked eggs; deviled eggs; and most important of all, caviar.

        I'd keep the sushi vegetarian or tuna only--other fish can get dicey pretty quickly.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Tom Steele

          Can you please detail the cucumber and wasabi sandwiches? sounds great.

          1. re: rkn

            Let's see . . . Trim the crusts from some thinly sliced, firm bread, and cut the bread into 1 1/2-inch squares. In a small bowl, blend 1/2 cup crème fraîche, 1 teaspoon chopped dill, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon prepared wasabi, and salt to taste. Peel a medium cucumber, cut it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds by running the tip of a spoon down the center of the cucumber halves. Cut the cucumber into 1/4-inch dice and stir it into the crème fraîche mixture. Spoon the mixture onto a bread square and top with another bread square, pressing lightly to make a baby sandwich. Repeat until the cucumber mixture is used up. Seal well in plastic wrap, and you're good to go.

        2. plantain chips. Also, I make a family recipe called Indian fried chicken which is chicken strips (bone-in is actually better but not for the plane) marinated in tandoori paste, amchur (mango powder), and garlic-ginger paste. Then chicken is then dipped in beaten egg and breadcrumbs and then baked until done. It is great cold, good for picnics and plane rides.

          Another family recipe is samosa puffs (can you tell we are Indian?). Make your samosa filling and use puff pastry for the shell, bake. These are great for the plane/picnics. We always bring these on long car rides.

          1. Tom, A large Thermous of Menudo will get you through any plane ride--regardless of distance.

            1. Thank your for mentioning the not smelly factor. I really couldnt take it if somebody had hard boiled eggs on a plane - noplace for me to run if the cart happens to be blocking the aisle!

              1. Ginger candies, available at asian markets. These will help if you eat too much of the other suggested goodies! (I am also crazy about pumpkin, lichee, and cinnamon candies, but they don't have the specific motion-sickness preventation qualities that ginger candies do.)

                1. Cold rice pudding... but need that plastic spoon, sorry.

                  Hummus and pita.

                  Chilled spring rolls

                  Cold pasta salad--- my favorite is rigatoni, olive oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar, sundried tomatoes, basil, and shredded parmesan- can give exact amounts if interested.. it grows better with time. Can use a chopstick to skewer noodles :)

                  Cold pizza.

                  Stuffed baked potato skins.


                  1. My customary high-altitude snack, available at just about any terminal: a banana, a container of yogurt, a bottle of water (and a plastic bag or two for quarantining peel, empty containers and other refuse).

                    Surprisingly terrific even just by itself: a loaf of good crusty, chewy bread.

                    I second nuts (should be shelled) and jerky (recently stretched out a tiny bag of killer homemade jerky over the better part of a cross-country flight).

                    1. I just read where Artisnal in the city will pack very nice kits to take on the plane filled with small cheeses and biscuits. Sounds yummy

                      1. You can oven roast almonds with various coatings
                        brown sugar/cinnamon-spiced
                        (or buy some at Trader Joe's) -
                        and candied pecans and coconut cashews at TJ are good, too.

                        Water crackers
                        parmesan crisps

                        Dickenson's jam - blackberry/marionberyy is good, but there are several of those truly wonderful jams.

                        sealed jar of caviar

                        cream cheese

                        celery (good with cream cheese and caviar)

                        whole french green beans sauteed (or grilled) in olive oil and herbs de provence, salt (garlic might be smelly, but it's good)

                        pickles veggiess: pickled beets, pickled carrots, pickeld cauliflower, pickled celery, etc.

                        Babybel cheese (individually waxed pieces stay nice without refrig)

                        braised sweet baby back ribs (I wish I had the recipe from Amuse Cafe for you-all the flavor is braised into the meat, very little saucy mess)


                        Beverages I am assuming you get from the flight attendant, but kid-packed apple juice may be another choice (box with straw).

                        Propel water - many flavors

                        pasty's (fillings vary - sweet to savory)

                        gyoza or pot stickers (fillings vary - meat to veggie)


                        fresh fruit

                        a few cans of Ultra Pure Protein (Trader Joe's has them or body building shops or health food- individual cans available) The protein count is 35 grams - this is not to die for the best tasting treat, but it is a quick and compact way to get a huge amount of protein and is one of the better tasting protein drinks. I like chocolate, Keith likes the cappucino. There are many flavors. Can't say enough about getting enough protein.

                        PR Bar - chocolate peanut flavor
                        See, http://www.epinions.com/well-Nutritio... (I get them mail order in two or three days -let me knw if you need a contact #


                        Link: http://www.wholesalesupplementstore.c...

                        1. I make chicken wraps the night before. Keep them in the fridge or freezer and they are nice and cool by lunchtime. I usually take along bananas and lots of water. Not all that exciting, but the wraps can be as creative as you want.

                          1. Lots of little nibbles are especially good for nervous or antsy flyers. Trailmix made with homemade granola, baby carrots & dip, gummi bears...

                            You can make vegetable filled onigiri very easily & bring tiny tupperware filled with wasabi & soy sauce. I also agree with the suggestion of good bread & cheese.

                            1. I just have to comment on several of the previous posters who say they take bananas- for anyone who has a sensitive nose- the banana peel which can not always be promptly disposed of is a hugely noxious thing. I welcome other opinions.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: torty

                                I agree. Same for cheeses and such. Delicious, but stinky. What are you gonna do? It's public transportation.

                                1. re: torty

                                  That's why I added that I also bring a couple of plastic bags; properly tied shut, they'll effectively seal up a banana peel (or worse).

                                  1. re: squid-kun

                                    The smell of that banana would make me hungry. Banana smells good. More than rerasonable.

                                  2. re: torty

                                    I would say that many of the suggestions here would bother me, should I be sitting next to the person eating them.

                                    Cheeses? They can be pretty stinky. Citrus fruit also smells very powerfully. Leave out the smoked fish, leave out the caviar. Have mercy on your neighbors.

                                    I love all those foods, but eating them on public transportation is a bit much. I can see having some nuts and raisins in case you're starved, maybe even a ham sandwich, but why does one have to bring major smelly food on a 6-hour plane trip? Why not just watch the movie and go to sleep? I would hate to be sitting next to the person with bags of hot food and salads, etc., slurping and munching the whole trip.

                                    1. re: lucia

                                      Yeah! Thank you! Now if we could get them to de-smell all the reeking airport fast food that people seem to HAVE to take on the airplane.

                                  3. Some good tea leaves. Some Cup O Noodle. For both you can just get hot water from the flight attendants when you want to drink/eat.

                                    Bring some cubes of cheddar cheese, raisons, and peanuts (if they happens not to serve peanuts on the flight). The combination of the three seems to be especially satisfying when on the plane. If you add banana to the mix it's perfection.

                                    Have a good trip!

                                    1. PB&J sandwich, cheese sandwich, big bag of mixed nuts and dried fruit. i try to make wraps for dinner the night before and make enough for leftovers to bring on the plane. i use honey wheat wraps, sliced chicken sausage, steamed spinach, cheese, sometimes mashed up white beans. also a 1.5 liter of water for each of us, and apples.