Delta has really been stepping up their catering game of late, and my recent flight from San Diego to Detroit is proof that they are taking it seriously. Since I was on an odd numbered flight (DL 833), meal orders were taken from the back to the front, so I didn’t have a choice in options. While I was a little worried when I heard what was available, I was completely (and very pleasantly) surprised!
The lunch entree on the flight that day was described as “tandoori chicken with quinoa salad”, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. Tandoori chicken is dry by definition, and meats on flights tend to be drier still given the combination of cooking method, pressurization, and air. I was pretty worried… and not just because I was getting Indian food on an American airline! 😉
Surprise Number One
Once the meal was served, I was impressed by how Delta opted for a chilled presentation of tandoori chicken. This allowed the chicken to remain more moist than it would have been after re-heating in a convection oven. The addition of almond slices was a nice touch, and between the almonds and the quinoa there was a nice balance of texture.
Surprise Number Two
It’s hard to explain how important raita is to Indian cuisine… much like Greek cuisine’s relationship with tzatziki. It is found with most preparations of dry meats (or particularly spicy food) to reintroduce some moisture and also tame spicier foods. The texture of the thin cuts of cucumber also helps with the dining experience. Delta did their homework on how to properly serve Indian food!
Surprise Number Three
Accompanying the chicken and quinoa was a chilled salad composed of orange, onion, and feta cheese. The acidity was just what the meal needed.
Finally, dessert. A nice selection of fruit accompanied by a mini apple pie!
I can’t say enough positive things about how far Delta has come with their domestic First Class meal offerings. They are putting a great deal of thought into meal composition and my stomach definitely appreciates it! Kudos, Delta!