Gluten Free Flying: EVA Air

When I was a child, travel to my holiday destinations mainly involved long drives to far flung corners of the idyllic French countryside or later cruising the Med / North Africa on an ocean liner.

I had taken a few flights, even as a baby, but my first real foray into international plane travel came in 1990 when I travelled to St Petersburg and Moscow on a school trip. This trip led to a lifelong passion for travel and obsession with Russia.

Back in 1990, smoking was still permitted on flights and the inflight meal could at best be described as ‘hot’. This narrative only applied to the temperature of the food, never it’s quality.

The husband and I are just back from a much needed R&R break in hot and sunny Thailand. We chose to fly there on EVA because we’d heard good things about their service, particularly in comparison with Thai Air.

The EVA service was really efficient and friendly. The night before the flight we had a problem selecting our seats when we’d checked in online. I managed to speak to an EVA employee at almost 10pm to get the issue resolved. Impressive.

When we arrived at the airport, the check in assistant asked to confirm I had requested a gluten free meal. Encouraging. When we sat down in our seats onboard, a flight assistant came over pre takeoff to double check I had ordered a GF meal and find out what drink I’d like with it. Very encouraging.

So what did it look and taste like? The photos and description below relate to the return flight from Bangkok to London. Here’s how it arrived:

When I had my EVA air GF meal placed in front of me, I was immediately transported back to 1990. I’d like to thank EVA at least for bringing back a strong memory of a trip 20 years ago.

So, what was included:

Starter:
Tomato, cucumber and lettuce salad with nice vinaigrette

Hot Main:
Roast chicken (large piece) served with a tomato sauce, courgettes, carrots, 2 oriental vegetables (one white, one purple) which I didn’t recognise but were quite tasty

Dessert 1
Fruit salad with pineapple, papaya and large white citrus fruit

Dessert 2
Fruit salad with apple, papaya and grapes

Other
2 slices white gluten free bread
Margarine
‘Normal’ bread roll – assume this was flight attendant error

Here’s a photo with the foil peeled back from the hot main meal.


How did it taste? Well, a bit bland. The tomato sauce would have benefitted from some herbs and seasoning. I’m not a fan of gluten free white bread (too much like sweet cake) but I appreciate the effort made to cater for people who can’t eat gluten.

I genuinely wanted to like the meal, everyone at EVA had been so nice and organised about ensuring I received it. I suppose that in itself wasn’t so different to 1990 when travel was exciting, even if the inflight meal was very bland, and the point of travel was about the destination, not what you ate on the way there.

Gluten Free Mrs D

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