Some airlines say they're getting squeezed by a shortage of limes.
A spokesman for United Airlines, which is part of United Continental Holdings, says the airline is currently flying with only 15% to 20% of its usual stock of limes.
"If the caterers are light on limes when they supply our flights, then we'll serve lemons," said Rahsaan Johnson. "We've asked them to continue to provide limes where available, but to cater more lemons until lime supplies normalize," he added.
Long gone are the days of ice sculptures and crepe suzette served up as a matter of course in first class cabins on airliners.
But what is presented to premium passengers can still rival some top hotels or restaurants, and can often act as a good barometer for the health of an airline's fortunes.
"When times get tough, food is one of the costs airlines can cut without jeopardizing safety," says Andreas Weber, general manager of airline catering company, Gate Gourmet.
"It has changed back and forth (over time); airlines go through crises," he says. "(Today) more airlines are investing substantially in their first and business class products. Making people comfortable in big seats, everyone is doing that already, but what is left is the catering experience."
Images taken on a recent Singapore Airlines flight might suggest passengers had become unusually ferocious in their disdain for the onboard meal.
But this was no "Bugsy Malone"-esque food-flinging fiesta.
Coffee, juice or tea?
Starting July 1 on Frontier Airlines, that drink will cost you $1.99 for certain fares, the company announced Wednesday.
So will a can of soda. But at least you'll get the entire can. (Coffee drinkers will get free refills.)
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
A lot of important questions come up at Thanksgiving: turkey brining, pro or con; cornbread stuffing, yes or no; and whether or not that stuffing should be baked in that turkey. (If you answered pro brined turkey to the first question, the answer to the last question is no.)
But now that airport food has improved so drastically, the most relevant question might be: Is anyone even hungry for Thanksgiving dinner, after they pigged out so much at the terminal?
I asked my very favorite frequent flier, Andrew Zimmern, who travels the world for his show "Bizarre Foods" on the Travel Channel, for his favorite dining spots in airports. He obliged by giving me his favorite places to eat in 12 airports around the country. From now on, I’m booking all my flights with stopovers in Minneapolis.
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