20090123mini_airline_meal.jpgAirplane food is low on the list of things I expect to inspire merchandisers and restaurateurs. Yet Japanese toymaker Re-Ment has launched a range of dollhouse-scale airline meals (book me a ticket on Air Bibimbap, please), and a new Taipei restaurant replicates the inflight experience, from stewardesses to plastic trays, on solid ground.

Airplane food isn't exactly known for tasting good, so what's the appeal? Well, there's something deeply, inherently satisfying about a compartmentalized dinner, with a little nook for every course, isn't there? In a chaotic world, airline meals, bento boxes and TV dinners tap into our very human desire for order.

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