Pigs on a Plane

Ippudo Smaku

Now don’t get us wrong here, we love ramen, but would you really want the oily stock that fills the air as well as your bowl to surround you as you sit in business class (ooh, lucky you) on an international flight?

That’s what you might get if you fly ANA from June 1st, after the company announced a tie up with popular Fukuoka (but now national – and they even have stores in New York) chain, Ippudo Ramen, which will provide in-flight meals to first and business class passengers on their way to Europe or North America…

Sure, slurpers may not complain – it does taste pretty good and during battles against jet lag you may need a full, satisfied stomach on which to eventually snooze – but this is hardly the refined cuisine we’d imagine customers are used to. And with Cup Noodles and their like often offering a much needed diet stop gap on flights in and around Asia anyway (granted, usually in coach/economy) is this really anything so new?

Well, perhaps it is. The company have apparently created ‘sora-ton’ (lit. ‘sky-pork’) specifically for some of the flights, meaning this might be a cut above… Apparently it’s based on a top seller at the chain but has a little fragrant oil mixed in, and is served with a thin noodle that slides down nicely.

There’s more than one reason for those noodles themselves to be characteristically Kyushu style and slimline – it’s part of the adaptation process that was necessary due to what a press release calls “legal regulations” and “other complications such as the lower boiling point of water inside a pressurized cabin.”

If you’re flying to or from North America you won’t be able to eat that porky broth (‘why, why?!’ we hear you cry…) Regulations apparently prohibit the necessary pork extracts (hmmm… something fishy here?) from being imported to the US, so there will be a soy sauce style broth instead.

We hope to see JAL getting in on the act with some yakitori in the sky some time soon, truly kicking of an aerial yokocho battle we can get behind…

[via Aviation Wire, who have some pictures… Ours comes courtesy of Smaku/Flickr]