Don't eat these foods in front of your valentine
Messy, gaseous or ungraceful, these foods are not going to impress on a posh date
If you're hoping to keep things classy this valentines, then you probably ought to avoid a few things when dining with your date. Some say you should be totally comfortable in front of a date – if you plan on spending a lot of time in the future with them then they ought to be able to see you at your most gluttonous. And while this is true, I maintain that there's a lot to be said for brushing up and making a good first impression. And if, like me, you're spending valentines with your existing partner, you can show them that tonight isn't just like any other night by dressing your best and choosing a meal that isn't a total turn off by following these tips.
So, here are a few foods that you ought to steer clear of if you want to put your best foot forward on the 14th Feb.
Garlic bread is like that clingy ex that is determined to keep you all to themselves. If you have this alongside your meal, you might think that it was over once the plate have been cleared. But no: even once you’ve left the restaurant the pungent aroma lingers on your breath, sapping at the pleasure of any goodnight kiss. What a turn off.
We all love a hot date, but really you ought to save the spiciness until dinner’s over. It’s hard to deliver charming anecdotes when your tongue is on fire, and who knows what the repercussions of a particularly potent curry could be?
If smashing through a vindaloo is how you usually assert your masculinity in a restaurant setting, consider alternative methods. Maybe you can practice speaking in a deeper tone, or repeatedly mention your salary. With a bit of ingenuity you'll manage.
When it comes to spicy food, you just have to remember that if your date wanted you red faced, and with tears in your eyes, they'd have stood you up.
These days fermented foods are increasingly common, and they are, on the whole, deep in flavour, healthy and delicious. However, the terrible smell they often emit means they’re worth avoiding.
Even if you profusely insist that ‘it’s actually really nice’, the aroma of bin-juice might dampen the mood somewhat. Also, your date might start to wonder whether you're Mr/Mrs. Right as they sit and watch you chow down on stinking, rotting cabbage.
Eating a burger is usually a messy process. You can hardly fit the thing in your mouth, and within the first minute, the bun has disintegrated leaving your fingers sticky, your face covered in food and your mouth too full to engage in conversation.
When eating a burger I normally just power through to avoid cleaning my hands multiple times. The whole experience is magnificently gluttonous, but it doesn’t make for a sociable dining experience. Opt instead for something that can be eaten slowly, and without making such a mess.
Ok, so scallops and muscles are just fine, but I'd suggest that you avoid a lot of shellfish. Especially the ones with eyes.
It’s unlikely that your date will find the sight of you tearing crustaceans limb from limb with your bare hands charming, so spare them the barbarism. Order something that, A, doesn't give better eye contact than you do, and B, doesn't need to be violently dissected on the dinner table before you can eat it. Maybe something that can be eaten with a knife and fork rather than with nut crackers.
This one is pretty much dating lore. Unless you have the fork-wielding finesse of Neptune, then this is a recipe for disaster. You’re almost certainly going to stain your outfit, spread sauce around your mouth or, worse still, have one or two of those moments when the spaghetti is half in, half out. And none of those eventualities are going to increase the chance that you’ll be invited back for a caffè macchiato and a bocchino.