Image by Anna Kerslake
With Valentine’s Day just behind us, we thought it would be fun to look back on some of our contributor’s worst date experiences, where food has been the main source of embarrassment. So, let the shocking see the cringe: awkward dates, reveal yourselves.
Sad steak – Megan Evans
Being an incredibly clumsy person, it really doesn’t help in my favour when it comes to fine wining and dining. Let’s just say, I usually end up dropping something on the table (food or beverages), and leaving the waitress semi concerned for my sanity (even though I myself am a waitress).
I am also not the best cook, as I have terrible timing issues and I just genuinely panic when I have the responsibility of cooking thrown at me. Me and my partner decided we wanted to have a steak night in the comforts of his student house, as it was much cheaper than going out for dinner. I had the responsibility of making and cooking the chips (I sliced my fingers a grand total of 3 times during that process). I had also burnt them slightly as I had gotten distracted whilst waiting for them in the oven, and forgot to set the time correctly. Whilst he was making the steaks, I had taken the chips out (a mixture of normal and sweet potato), and attempted to take them out WITHOUT oven mitts. The fact that my partner strives for ‘perfection’, he thought it was appropriate to take the steaks off when they looked well done on the outside (but extremely rare on the inside, which I HATE). It got to the point where the chips were semi cold by the time the steaks were to a decent standard, and when I snapped a photo to my mother, her reply was ‘What the hell have you made’, as the steaks were cut up so small, from the consistent taking them on and off the heat. Not really the response I was after, Mum.
Matcha mayhem – by Hanna Pluck
My worst food incident on a date wasn’t so much dinner-based as coffee-based. Cafés – a fun, cute, lowkey first date experience, right? Generally, yes! Unfortunately, I’m a big fan of matcha.
Matcha is basically ground up green tea leaves, and is used to give things that bright, tangy, green flavour. If you’ve never had it before, think avocados but less creamy. If you’re thinking that sounds like it might just taste a bit like grass – you’re not wrong. Sounds delicious? You’ll be pleased to know that a great deal of cute, first-date-worthy local cafes stock matcha lattes.
Another thing that might be important background information is that a long course of Accutane when I was a teenager left me with chronically dry lips, and that I’m awkward enough that in intense social situations like dates I tend to feel weird about doing totally normal things like putting on lip balm. So, when I’m meeting up with a guy who has such good bone structure he makes Movember look like a respectable fashion choice, and I start to notice a kind of dryness on my upper lip, I don’t think anything of it. I couldn’t really think of a way to handle it discreetly, and Accutane dryness, while uncomfortable, is generally invisible. This goes on, while there is normal, slightly awkward conversation, until I finally manage to subtly wipe my upper lip and find a lovely, phenomenally attractive crust of matcha powder just. Just caked on there.
If, dear reader, seeing that makes your soul want to cringe out of your body, take comfort – you are not alone. Bless him, he was lovely about it, and it actually gave us something to laugh about while I died inside. So lovers of matcha beware! Sometimes it leaves you mysteriously crusty!
Pasta (im)perfection – by Kimberley Jones
A few years ago, I went on a date with my current partner. It was very earlier in the relationship and neither of us were old enough to get jobs yet but we talked about going on dates. So, for a date night, he wanted to cook for me and had made a chicken pasta with bacon bits. However, still unknown to him, I had never tried pasta before and have since made my pasta a lot softer than he made as it just tasted like rubber to me. Also, the smoked bacon bits he added were overcooked and tasted like charcoal. But, it’s the thought that counts!
But that was not the worse part, I had weirdly seen this meal before and so out of curiosity, I asked him if he had cooked this before, to which he responded that he had actually made it for his ex. The reason I had saw it before was because he had posted about his date with his ex on Facebook! He didn’t understand why I was taken aback and didn’t think it was a big deal.
Luckily for him, the date wasn’t a deal breaker and we have since got engaged, his cooking has greatly improved as he has learnt how to do other meals besides pasta. Also, he now remembers to turn the heat down when he cooks bacon.