There’s actually a very specific reason why you tend to crave a Bloody Mary when flying on a plane. In a recent study conducted by Cornell University, it was discovered that the environment passengers are exposed to contributed to the desire.
According to the study, our taste buds are altered when we’re in an environment with loud noises and pressure. A taste for the sweet and “umami” becomes heightened and enhanced, says Robin Dando who works as an assistant professor of food science at Cornell.
Umami is a Japanese term that describes the sweet and savory taste of amino acids. Tomato juice, high in umami, can be found in Bloody Marys.
The study, “A Crossmodal Role for Audition in Taste Perception,” which Dando co-authored with Kimberly Yan, published in the online Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
With the results of this study, airlines can now find a way to improve airline food for passengers. Y’know, if they care to.