An Ode to an Ice Cream Sundae

There’s a big difference between traveling in economy and traveling in a premium cabin. Outside of bigger, more comfortable seats and better entertainment options, the most glaring difference is the food especially on an international flight. While the plebeians in Coach are trying to get through the tiny plastic tray of chicken with rice, First and Business flyers are getting their choice of entrees whose level of quality has risen well-beyond just acceptable. Honestly, it’s like the difference between eating a Lean Cuisine and going to Alinea, but with far less alginate.

American Airlines recently flew me back to LAX from Tokyo Narita and there was one part of the meal, in particular, that proved to me that Business is always worth it (if you can afford it): the Ice Cream Sundae.

It was incredibly simple: firm, creamy vanilla ice cream; rich, dense hot fudge; a dollop of whipped cream; and chopped walnuts. That’s all there was to it, but the sum of its parts was so much more. It was symbolic of freedom, of comfort. It was the physical manifestation of humans triumph over the skies. Okay, that may be a little too far, but come on! An ice cream sundae! On an airplane! And it tasted just as good as it would have at Ghiradelli or Baskin-Robbins or wherever else you’re getting your sundaes these days. That’s what was so amazing to me about it. We’ve finally come to a place where good food can be replicated in the air and it doesn’t look or taste like astronaut food or those Army MREs.

We live in the age of technological progress and although the sundae wasn’t made with a smartphone or manipulated with different apps, it still qualifies as advancement in the creamological sciences. For that, I say thank you American Airlines, for making me feel at home in the air.

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