The Scientific Reason Bloody Marys Taste Better on Airplanes

iStock
iStock

If you’re not sure what to pair with that B-movie the next time you’re cruising at 30,000 feet, science suggests you try a Bloody Mary—and not just because it will make the plot of Taken 3 seem more plausible.

According to a group of Cornell-based researchers, tomato juice tastes better up in the air. The reason: the noise level on an airplane influences our perceptions of taste. In a study published recently in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 48 participants sampled a range of tomato juices—some were sweeter, while some were more salty or bitter. During the session, the noise level was steadily increased and participants were asked to rate the intensity of each flavor. The noisier the environment, the more difficulty people had detecting sweet flavors. Savory flavors, however—including tomatoes’ earthy “umami” taste—were easier to pick up.

This isn’t exactly news to airlines. Last year, a Lufthansa executive reported that they sell as much tomato juice as they do beer on flights. The company ordered a study of their own, which determined that the air pressure and humidity levels on planes make bolder drinks and foods more appealing.

There you go: official permission to spice up your next flight. Thanks, science!

[h/t: Esquire

Thursday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Guitar Kits, Memory-Foam Pillows, and Smartwatches

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 3. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Get 70 Percent Off 15 Bottles of Wine From Around the World During This Black Friday Sale

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels
Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.

If you or a loved one always wants to try a new bottle of wine from around the globe, you can ensure there's always something fresh and exciting to drink at home with a delivery from Wine Insiders.

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Prices subject to change.

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