Inflight Taste Test: Lufthansa’s new Taste of America menu


Lufthansa has a long and delightful history of creating menus that showcase the cuisine of the destination or country of origin. So when the Taste of America menu was announced, I knew I had to try it.

Did my fellow passengers wonder what sort of glutton I was, being brought entrée after entrée, or decide I fulfilled every twenty-something stereotype ever by poorly photographing the whole thing with an iPhone? Probably, but it was, dear reader, for your edification.

In business on the route from JFK to Frankfurt, every entrée is supplemented by a salad. It’s fairly standard: crisp, tangy, cold. It’s pleasant, but one needn’t wax poetic about it.

The first entrée on the menu, and therefore the first entrée I tasted, was the beef filet with béarnaise sauce accompanied by root vegetables and whipped potatoes (pictured above). Meat and potatoes: God’s actual gift to people. As is the case so often in the air, the beef is well done to the point of being somewhat tough, but the béarnaise sauce rescues it. The root vegetables, although unexpectedly crunchy, are clean and cut through the heaviness of the meat. It’s hard to mess up whipped potatoes, and LSG didn’t. Overall, it’s earnest and humble, and there’s something very American about it.

Next up were the shrimp and scallops with mixed vegetables and celeriac whipped potatoes. It’s a cheerful looking dish featuring a variety of colors and textures, and as long as you leave out the seafood, it’s enjoyable. The vegetables are pleasantly salty and earthy and balanced by the celeriac whipped potatoes. The shrimp are acceptable if a bit overdone, but it seems the scallop does not want to play its part in the tableau. As such, the vegetables and celeriac whipped potatoes rise from being supporting actors to being the stars, and if anyone can pass on a good recipe for celeriac whipped potatoes so that I don’t have to fly from across the Atlantic every time I want some, that would be much appreciated. Scroll down for more.

shrimp and scallop

While my seatmate gave me a judgmental sideways glance, it was the artichoke ravioli’s turn. As a whole, the dish is alright, and certainly not as offensive as the scallops of the preceding dish. The ravioli is quite good while the mushrooms are kind of rubbery and lack an earthiness that might have grounded the dish. What is most disappointing is that the dish suggests there is an elevated version of it somewhere, like Plato’s forms. If you have dietary restrictions that prevent you from enjoying beef, then the ravioli will suffice. However, if you are free to make a choice, then choose the beef.

artichoke ravioli

The current dessert menu is simple and appropriate for following the heavy fare of the entrees, featuring Häagen-Dazs dulche de leche ice cream, a cheese plate starring New England aged cheddar, and fresh fruit. Maybe it was the altitude, or the fact that I’d had a nigh bacchanalian dinner, but I’ll testify that the fruit sang. 5/5 for the fruit plate.

fruit plate