The fermented soybean known as natto is salty and crunchy just like the Planters peanut of plane rides past—just a bit less ballpark and a whole lot more sour (not to mention Japanese).
Airlines have a bad rep for crushed peanuts and Styrofoam trays of flavorless blah—if you’re lucky to get fed at all. But savvy carriers still pushing the snack trolley have traded bland basics for a taste of the exotic and local.
Korean Air’s shrimp crackers, piquantly salty with a briny aftertaste and shaped not unlike a giant battered prawn (if you squint hard enough), are an addictive intro to Seoul’s seafood-centric cuisine. And Hawaiian Airlines’s addictively bold Furikake Kona Chips, sprinkled with a Japanese condiment staple (crushed sesame, seaweed, sugar, salt, and dried fish), offer a taste of the islands’ East-West cultural mash.
Some refreshments are emblems of the carriers themselves: Swiss International Air Lines distributes milk chocolate to departing guests, and Turkish Airlines delights with (what else?) sticky cubes of pistachio-studded Turkish delight. And Delta, by stamping its name into more than 90 million Biscoff cookies a year, has turned a caramel-flavored Belgium specialty into an all-American treat.
And is there anything more on-brand that JetBlue’s Terra Blue potato chips? Like the unlimited seat-back entertainment, the airline’s serve-yourself snack basket is an exercise in restraint. (But nobody’s judging if you swipe a bag for a post-flight snack.)
Whether it’s a quick regional trip or an ultra-long haul, there’s something about cruising altitude—and late afternoons—that makes us want to munch. Here are the airline snacks you won’t want to miss.