Flying is a dreary affair that is completely devoid of glamour. The seats are bad. The air is bad. The food is bad. Distracting oneself from all the bad is the only way to get through a flight, and (surprise, surprise) I like to distract myself with food.
But distracting your mouth is not enough. The best food for the job is one that takes a multi-sensory distraction approach. This is why the best plane snack is a mandarin orange. It tastes like sunshine, yes, but it also releases wonderful citrus oils into the stale air around you, making your personal plane space just a tad brighter and invigorating, almost enjoyable.
They also come sealed in their own wrapper, meaning you can be sure no plane germs have touched the flesh of your fruit before it comes in contact with your tongue. I prefer the Cutie brand of mandarins to others, as they are usually the easiest to peel, and easy to find in your grocery store year-round. In terms of amount, I like to bring at least one per hour of flying, though four is usually my minimum, as it’s impossible to eat fewer than four mandarin oranges at a time.