Eating on a plane is like having dinner when you have a bad cold, Smothers explains. Cabin pressure and low humidity compromise our sense of smell and, therefore, our ability to taste. Sweet and salty foods take the biggest hit (our appreciation of them decreases by 30 percent, Smothers learned from Lufthansa, which owns one of the world's largest simulators for measuring how cabin conditions affect our perceptions of taste). Sour foods, though, tend to taste the same. So next time you're in flight, snack on yogurt or cottage cheese instead of chips and candy. For longer trips with full meals, follow Smothers' advice and bring packets of hot sauce with you to spice up the bland fare (or at least camouflage the taste).
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