"We Are Told To Call It Chicken"

by Zoë Pollock

Corky White incites an airline food rebellion, and envisions what the alternative could taste like:

On a flight from Budapest to Vienna, on the Bulgarian Civil Air Transport, there was in-flight perfection.

The aircraft itself was not promising. It served two purposes: cattle lift and human transport, alternating. For humans, they slotted in seats and hung air fresheners around the cabin. The dominant scent was not human. And I had no high expectations for any aspect of the flight, let alone for a gourmet meal. But soon after takeoff, a burly steward came out of the galley, his arms lined up and down with baskets. In each basket there was a perfect picnic under a clotha hunk of local salami, a hunk of rough cheese, a half loaf of dark brown bread, a small bottle of Bulgarian red, and a perfect peach.