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Would you help me choose my Lufthansa "special meal" ?

In looking at my Lufthansa flight in October, coming back from Basel to SFO, I believe that they will be offering either Bratwurst with sauerkraut and onion sauce (too "aromatic" for me -- and quite possibly for all the other passengers also??? Wow..) or Pesto Pasta (boring). I see they also offer a myriad of "special meals" but they won't describe them, other than tell what they DON'T contain (example, diabetic dinner contains no breaded products) low-cholesterol means "no animal fats", and "no egg yolk").

Does anyone have experience with these descriptions?

"Vegetarian Meal- Oriental (meal without meat or fish, spiced in an oriental style")

"Reduction Food" ("calorie reduced meal, rich in fiber, low on fat and carbs")

and "Light Whole Food" ( "light diet for the stomach, liver, gall and bowel")

Posted by
6826 posts

Forget the selection and just bring your own whatever complies with carry on like fruit and bread grains nuts etc.

the vegatarian meal is rice and some kind of vegetables in sauce usually.

Posted by
6699 posts

I have had really good experience on Turkish Air with vegetarian meal-lacto/ovo, meaning with dairy allowed. It was very similar to Indian food but not that spicy. It really depends on the airline's caterer whether it will be good or barely edible. You can find some Google images of the different types but I'm not too sure I would trust them to accurately display what you're going to get. Just pick what sounds best...if you don't like certain parts of it, you can just leave it. No matter how bad an airline meal is, I'm usually starving so I'll eat it.

The upside with the special meals is that they get served first, before the other (95% or so) passengers get their meals.

Posted by
6394 posts

any airplane food is yuck. I try to avoid the meal and just bring myself a little snack, and then try to go to sleep rather than dealing with their meal service!!!

Posted by
164 posts

We returned last Tuesday from Frankfurt at 1:00pm on Lufthansa and had a choice of beef goulash or ravioli as the regular offering. We both chose the beef and it was one of the better airline meals I have had. It was served with brown gravy, potatoes, and carrots, with salad on the side, roll and dessert. We have never ordered any special meals on any airlines.

Posted by
3173 posts

"Vegetarian Meal- Oriental (meal without meat or fish, spiced in an
oriental style")

It's stunning the word "oriental" is used today. So then where is the occidental "style"?

Posted by
362 posts

Personally, I'd take the pesto pasta, but given the above options, I'd go with vegetarian as long as you are okay with the possibilities of mushrooms and tofu. My second choice would be the reduction food. (Think no fat and possibly no rice/potatoes). I do not think I would ever select the light whole food option.

Posted by
11613 posts

I order gluten-free meals and they have always consisted of chicken, rice, broccoli, maybe a rice cake, and fruit. Yuck. Now I just pack my own. I do get nostalgic for the fruit-and-cheese option, that I haven't seen in a while.

Posted by
1535 posts

In my experience, the only benefit to the 'special' meal is you get served before everyone else (and wait a LONG time for the beverage service). As has been suggested, bring some suitable snacks and spin the wheel for a special meal type that sounds intriguing. In the past 'vegetarian' was served as vegan (no butter or dairy) but they seem to have a more specific vegan option now. Also, if you Google "Lufthansa special meals" you'll get a variety of pictures that may give you clues on what you might find.

Posted by
7877 posts

Perhaps widen your choices? Choose Kosher or Moslem?

Posted by
293 posts

@continental = there is also an "Asian" choice. I think the "Asian" moniker would mean "India / Pakistan etc."

Posted by
293 posts

@ Ms. Jo: Yes, I would like to know what those choices could be, too. But like you all said, I will probably do my own thing. Last time I ordered "Vegetarian", it was a horrible cheesy, garlicky rigatoni - yuck yuck.

Posted by
12139 posts

Often Kosher is the option with least offensive food.

Posted by
7400 posts

I like pesto pasta, but as you have ruled that out, I see two choices.

1- Upgrade to biz or 1st class

2- stop at " Subway " on the way to the airport and get what you like

Posted by
344 posts

When European airlines offer 'oriental' they're referring to East Indian/Pakistani and not Far East like Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Vietnamese.

I recently flew Lufthansa and their meal service was good for economy, not as good as British Air but certainly than UAL which we returned on. My neighbors sitting in my row had veg meals, it was pretty much multiple steamed veg with rice.

I've been tempted to select a Kosher/Halal meal just try it out. But, like others have pointed out, and we experienced on our flights, the outside of standard meal service was served about 30-min before others and beverage lagged as the air crew had to secure and switch carts.

Posted by
3460 posts

I have had their brats & cabbage meal. Really wasn't bad. It was during an Octoberfest promotion. And it was the business class meal. :-)

Airlines used to post their menus for the month on their websites. But now what you get is probably as much of a surprise to the airline as it is to you. I have never had one of the special meal on any airline, but some have looked surprisingly good compared to what I got as the regular meal. Best option would be to call the airline and ask what a specific special meal might contain for that day on a similar flight instead of reading about what it will not contain. If they will share this info, it would be better than hoping for something but ending up with something you can't eat.

Posted by
486 posts

As mentioned by the previous poster the bratwurst is offered due to Oktoberfest. I was on a flight where it was offered and the couple next to me had ordered a "special request" meal. Once they saw all the other passengers get the bratwurst they asked if they could have one instead of their special meal. Unfortunately due to the popularity of the meal there were none left after all the other customers were served. I got the bratwurst, and it was not bad for an airline meal.

Posted by
5198 posts

To address your original question, with the caveat that my experience is not with Lufthansa specific, but several other airlines; your observation that the meals speak to what they do not contain is accurate, and significant.

The concern is to assure that someone is not served an item that might conflict with religious needs as well as dietary limitations due to preference or medical needs. To that end, even though the list of options may be many, that is for the purpose of expressing your preference. In reality, the airline has a more limited group of meals, if for no other reason than for logistical reasons.

In the example you give above, a meal that includes a "veggie tray", some hummus, maybe some veggies with rice, and some fruit. That meets the requirements of Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Low Carb, "reduction Food", "Light Whole Food", and in a pinch, I suppose Kosher, Halal, Hindi and an array of the other "Special" options...one size fits all.

My wife at one time used to always order a special meal. She did from time to time get something very good (she still recalls an Indian Spiced vegetarian dish once), but mostly she was disappointed. She is is mostly Vegetarian but does eat Dairy and Fish, so the standard "non-Meat" option offered on most flights is better. As was mentioned, the advantage of a special meal anymore is you get served first, you will get what you chose, and if you have limitations, it meets your needs.

Posted by
293 posts

yeah, I think I'll bring something of my own. I have one granola bar left, plus some gummibears. it's all good.