For Better Airplane Food – A Plane Picnic

Sex in the City Airplane shotAirplane Food. Oh my.

This weekend I’ll be flying across the county to a very cold destination.  I don’t mind the 20 degree weather as much as I mind the to and fro in-flight meals. Julia Child once said that she’d rather eat a peanut-butter-honey sandwich than suffer through airplane food. Even when it was free, airplane food was never terrific.  No offense American Airlines, but your choice of that mismatched medley of junk foods leaves a bit to be desired.

Because of this, my carry-on will have splendid treats, I plan on packing better airplane food, a Plane Picnic. I want something more than the usual suspects – trail mix, nuts and so forth. Additionally, I’m going to have to work around certain post-9/11 limitations.

The TSA website states that you can carry on:

  • Beverages brought from home or purchased before reaching the security checkpoint in a 3 oz. or smaller container and in your quart-size, zip-top plastic bag.
  • Canned or jarred goods such as soup, sauces, peanut butter, fruits, vegetables and jellies – 3 oz. or smaller
  • Cheese in pressurized containers, Jell-O’s, pudding, whipping cream, yogurt or gel like food substances – 3 oz. or smaller

To the drawing board:

      • No food that would need to be heated
      • No food that would go bad without refrigeration
      • No foods that have a strong odor
      • Basically tastes good at room temperature and not too messy.


Plane Picnic Ideas:

Cheese Plate-138Starters

          A little formaggi + salumi +condimenti + crostini: Dry salami with aged gouda, maybe a triple crème, a little mustard and crackers, need to slice it beforehand. No knives on planes these days, you know. All from Whole Foods.

Blue Diamond Natural Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds

Main Courses
Minimalist sandwich made with crusty bread, charcuterie and a little olive oil. It think I could get a focaccia sandwich with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil from Corner Bakery.

Cucina Enoteca-016OR

Arugula Burrata Capresse Salad with Parma ham, burrata, honey-poached persimmons, aged balsamic from Pizzeria Ortica by South Coast Plaza


Truffle mushroom mac + cheese from CUCINA enoteca in Irvine Spectrum

Strawberry CriossantStrawberry croissant. A perfect balance of freshly baked croissants, pastry cream and local fresh strawberries all rolled into one. Going to pack this one in a strong container to prevent a messy squish. This can be found at Cream Pan in old town Tustin

Lastly, Dark Chocolates – of course

Napkins or moist towelettes for cleanup.

I think I may pack and extra little something for the person sitting next to me. Don’t you think they might be eye balling my Plane Picnic spread? Yeah, that would make feel sheepish, as they munched on stale mustard pretzels. It also falls in the random act of kindness category – I like that.

What about you? What do you like to carry on the plane for sustenance? Or confess, you secretly love plane food. Either way, it’s all good. I would still share my Strawberry Croissant with you.

Have a great weekend,



  1. Sounds like you’re set. I also bring some dried meats and maybe some hard cheese. I would like to sit next to you if you brought me some as well 😀 One question. Truffle mac and cheese at room temp? Not sure about that one.
    Shari recent posted..Thai Salmon Quinoa Pasta

  2. I always bring yummy snacks on a plane, even on short trips. I love that you have named it the “Plane Picnic.” I may have to use that phrase from now on. Nothing cheers you up on a long flight like being able to say, “No thanks, I brought my own” to their offers of ‘food’ in flight. 😉
    Courtney recent posted..An Older Photo of The Boys

  3. OMG I love this idea. I’m totally doiing this next time I fly!
    Steph Calvert recent posted..Low Fat, Low Calorie Mini Birthday Cakes

  4. Why, I’ll be flying across the country this weekend as well! Thanks for the tips… xoxo

  5. what a great post! not only did you make me hungry, you made me wish i was getting on a plane this weekend (and sitting next to you!). great ideas! 🙂 have a safe trip!

  6. I always carry on a pickled hard boiled egg, a tuna sandwich, and cool ranch doritos. Doesn’t it make you want to sit next to me for the next 6 hours? Yummmm, I’m just imagining those vinegary burps.
    Beckey recent posted..I don’t do mornings.

  7. This is such a neat idea. I have always brought snacks for the kids, but what about me? I love all your suggestions and am belly laughing over Beckey’s picks. Maybe I would bring some fruit, a tangerine to peel or Carmel Apple cut up without the stick? The TSA might try to swipe my apple with a paper stick in it. 😉 inspiring travel post Kathleen – Gratsí

  8. What a cute idea. I never thought about brining more than junk food or grabbing something before we boarded. What I like most is that it would be something to look forward to! Safe travels!
    Wendy recent posted..Great Posts from Around the Way


  1. […] is where I also picked up my return plane picnic on the way to the airport. Thank you Chef for the terrific salami and […]

  2. […] when I traveled to Indiana last week? The truffle mushroom mac + cheese was my CUCINA enoteca Plane Picnic choice. Next time, along with those zeppole, I plan to […]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge