Last week we came across an eye-catching magazine ad from 1976 that shows the 18 different special meals available on United Airlines back then.
We found the ad on the @OldSchoolAds Twitter pages, which is worth taking a scroll through! John Aiello who runs the page told us that the ad came from Time Magazine, and likely appeared in several other magazines in the same year.
We checked with United, and a spokesperson told us that while it had records of the ad running, he couldn’t find anyone to answer my burning question:
What in the world was included in the “Soul” meal?
I’m from The South and grew up eating soul food… but never had it on a plane so I’m wondering if any readers who were flying around back then ever had a soul food meal? And if so, what was it? It’s hard to tell due to the graininess of the photo, but I think I see red beans and corn bread…or yams? Maybe fried chicken?
If you are not familiar with soul food, here’s how Wikipedia describes it: Soul food is a variety of cuisine that originated in African-American culture. It is closely related to the cuisine of the Southern United States. The term may have originated in the mid-1960s, when soul was a common word used to describe African-American culture (for example, soul music).
And also, check out the “Oriental” option– that word of course has gone out of fashion since 1976, and would now likely be called the “Asian” option. But I wonder if it was really served with chop sticks as seen in this ad? And don’t miss the “hot dog type kid food” option.
And since we are talking about food options on United, don’t forget that starting on Monday, free snacks come back to United flights. On flights departing before 9:45 a.m. you’ll get a morning stroopwafel – a Dutch, caramel-filled waffle with your coffee or tea. For flights later in the day, you’ll get packaged savory snacks, such as an “Asian-style snack mix of rice crackers, sesame sticks and wasabi peas or a zesty-ranch mix of mini pretzel sticks, Cajun corn sticks and ranch soy nuts.”
Do you order special meals when flying? If so, what do you choose, and why? Please leave your comments below.
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