Alien's Day Out

Flying vegan with Air France!

| 16 Comments

I didn’t realize that I’d have such bad jet-lag when I got back, but I’ve been feeling really exhausted! I think the Korean summer humidity is also getting to me… Anyway, before I forget, I must blog about the vegan airplane food I got on my flights from Paris to Seoul! My first flight from Charles de Gaulle airport was with Air France, but it was delayed about three hours, so by the time I boarded and was up in the air, I was quite hungry.

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Luckily, they were quick to serve snacks, which was a package of mini cracker biscuits with bits of olives. For my drink, I got some tomato juice.

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Not long after that, the flight attendants came around with our first meal. As usual, I got my VGML tray before anyone else and it was quite an impressive, diverse spread: rice, salad with tofu, french baguette with vegan butter, applesauce, chocolate cake, and a piece of dark chocolate!

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The main dish was a kind of Spanish-Mexican style rice dish with bell peppers, button mushrooms, and pine nuts. Truthfully, it was kinda bad…. bloated rice, dry, and overall quite bland. However, there was plenty of other yummy things on the tray to make up for the sad rice.

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For instance, this side salad of some kind of root vegetable (jicama? radish?) with cubes of black olive-tofu was really nice. The special ‘gourmet’ tofu was a surprising touch.

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I was also impressed with the dessert, which was a chocolate cake/brownie! Usually, most airlines just give vegans a bowl of fruit which is healthy and all, but let’s be honest, it kind of sucks when everyone else gets to finish their inflight meal with special desserts like tarts or puddings, while you are stuck with fruit- something that you eat every day at home. So anyway, Air-France gets extra props in the vegan dessert department with their delicious, dense, moist chocolate cake.

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And for double-chocolate delight, there was also a small dark chocolate treat! Air France may not have their vegan main dish figured out, but they sure know how to win you over with chocolate.

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Then a restless 10 hours later, we were served breakfast before landing. To my amazement, they served a vegan croissant. I was feeling a bit guilty about not getting a vegan croissant at the Raspail organic market since it was one of the foods on my bucket list, but then I got one on the plane anyway! Amazing.

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It was a bit over-browned on the outside, but it had that characteristic flakiness and buttery taste.

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I think my seat neighbors were wondering why I was snapping so many photos of my food. I wanted to explain, “it’s a vegan French croissant! On an airplane!” Some other items on the tray included syrupy preserved fruit, orange juice, coffee, strawberry jam, and butter. There was also an Alpro soya caramel pudding cup, which was so creamy and delicious, I think it even upstaged the croissant.

So that was the vegan food scene on my Air France flight. I have to say, I was impressed! Save for the dry, bland rice dish, everything else was surprisingly tasty and specialized.

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Then I got to Narita airport and had about 6 hours til my next flight, which was spent internet surfing, reading, walking around aimlessly, and browsing the souvenir shops. I didn’t have any food on me so I headed to one of the snack shops and bought some edamame beans and wasabi peas! Is anyone else into wasabi peas? They have such great crunchiness and I love it when you get an especially strong one that sends the wasabi particles shooting right up into your sinuses and gives you a great burning pain in your nostril. It’s kind of like drinking coke til it hurts. Love it.

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Anyway, then I finally boarded the Japan Airlines flight to Korea, where I was served a sad snackbox of fruit and two small pita pockets. It was perhaps the most pathetic of all the meals and snacks I had with JAL.

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One (quarter) pocket was stuffed with kiwi slices and red bell peppers (what a bizarre combination), and the other was filled with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber slices.

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I was… not so… impressed…… Especially because everyone else got cute wooden bento boxes with various tasty-looking components. C’mon JAL, I don’t ask for too much. Just something simple like this should suffice:


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Well, overall, I was rather well-fed on my trip back to Korea, and I shan’t complain, especially after eating so well in Paris & the Netherlands. Sigh, I miss my vacation… but it’s high time I snap out of vacation-mode and hit the ground running here in Korea! There are many art projects that need attention, people to catch up with, and even some baking orders to turn out. Ready, set, go go go!

16 Comments

  1. Wow, air france sure knows how to treat their vegan customers! I was really surprised to see that they served you vegan cake. :)

  2. @Islaborg I know, right? :) It was actually delicious too!!

  3. Lucky you with Air France.It all looks great. We have those Alpro puddings in England, so delicious :)
    I tend to think the best vegan flight food is with asian airlines as they're more used to veg cooking.

  4. Japan/Korea flights always have the most pathetic meals. Last time with Asiana, I had a mouthful of soba, 3 asparagi and a cabbage salad in which mayonaise had been replaced by straight-up mustard D: My flight was right on dinner time too, so I expected something a little more filling. Ridiculous.

  5. You probably can "eat" vegan with Air France, but I assure you that you really can't "fly" vegan with Air France.

    http://www.airsouffrance.fr/en

  6. Well done air france!
    we travelled to seoul on the first, very impresed overall but a bit disapointed by the main.
    We have tried 3 Loving huts so far, loving seoul.
    Paul & Vicky.

  7. i remember those strange pitas on JAL! not good food combining ^_^ glad you had success otherwise! like the croissant?! amazing!!!

  8. Glad you got the vegan croissant after all. I also wondered why you didn't buy one at that market. :)

  9. @Anonymous ooo… didn't know that about Air France. Ugh.

  10. in the air france main meal, the vegetable shredded in the salad was celeriac, a great favourite in france. sorry we are commenting as anonymous, but we can't seem to log in over here in seoul.

  11. I hate to be pessimistic, especially since your meals looked so good for airline food. But I would truly question if the chocolate desserts and croissant were actually vegan. Props to AF for actually giving you a vegan butter substitute. But I've ordered VGML meals on too many airlines to count; and am usually given creamer for coffee, margarine with milk products in it (or worse, just butter!), and crackers with cheese. I'm afraid that when it comes to the things that most non-vegans don't think about (like eggs in bread, or butter or whey) I don't trust the airlines to actually get it right either. Safest bet: bring your own awesome food, and watch your neighbours spy your food with envy!

  12. I flew Air France just a couple weeks back and the food I was given looked nothing like that. For dinner, I got steamed cauliflower and carrots with potatoes, and only lettuce on the side – didn't stay full very long on that! For dessert, the usual canned fruit. On the connecting flight, they had no vegetarian food at all (yes, I had ordered it AND called to confirm), so the hostess handed me a tray with chicken on it and told me to eat the salad that the chicken was sitting on top of. Uh, no thanks. They didn't even have bread on the side, no snacks, nothing. They were really rude and wouldn't understand why I was upset – they seemed to think that I could suit myself for not taking the chicken I was offered. Won't be flying AF in the near future, that's for sure.

  13. Thanks for this. I'm flying with AF to Japan and am vegan too :-)Let's hope they remember my vegan meal this time.

  14. Wow! This is so fuking GREAT! =D
    I never imagined that would be so many vegan options in the airlines meals!
    =)

  15. Ohhh! I didn’t know we can eat those croissants. I were highly doubting about their vegan meals but this time found they have a special label on it, it said “special meal catering company XXX…” seems like they got a new separate catering company for it. But I left the croissant and the other piece with chocolate inside untouched, since they did not had the label! The flight attendants didn’t know well either, but was kind enough to ask their colleagues and said it may contain milk powder….It’s so great if they are really vegan! Too bad for me, but I ate mine in Italy when I spotted’em in supermarkets :)

  16. Sorry to say, but the meal on AF more than likely wasn’t all vegan. When I flew with them a couple months back, they gave me a vgml and it was half dairy. They actually had melted cheese on the pasta. The stewardess didn’t know what vegan or ‘vegetalien’ meant. When I said no animal products, in French, she gave me the French sneer. If it didn’t have ingredients listed… I wouldn’t say it was vegan ;)

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