Earlier this year, I had a little dig at SAA for offering its passengers a “laugen”, a word which appeared to be lost on foreigners as well as locals.
“I thought it was a South African thing!” a Londoner seated next to me on a flight said, when offered the choice of beef or cheese and tomato laugen.
In fact it’s a sort of German bread roll, but unlike croissant or baguette, the term is not widely used or understood.
When I asked why SAA was using such an obscure name for a good old bread roll, SAA responded: “Just as the cabin crew would offer chicken on rye, tuna baguette or salami ciabatta, we also offer laugen with various fillings.
“The term has German origins and refers to the lye solution originally used to bath the roll in before baking, for its characteristic shiny brown crust and distinctive salty soda taste.”
Never mind that no one appeared to have heard the word before.
But it seems someone with influence at our national airline has since had a change of heart.
On a flight last week, I was yet again served a laugen, only now it’s called simply a “German roll”.