I wouldn’t call myself a fussy eater, but I do like to know what to expect in my food. I might call myself a food pure-ist. I quite like the different things to be kept separate on a plate. I won’t eat them all separately, but I like to be in charge of the mixing. There are also some things, that just should not happen, as above all things I have found out that I’m definitely a pea pure-ist. No mint on my peas! Certainly not when they could contaminate other vegetables. I also like the lettuce left to its own devices. No dressing please, what has my poor salad done to deserve destruction? It’s tasty enough, nom nom nom. I have sometimes suspected that I was a rabbit in a former life.
So they are the basics. Non contamination. But what about surprise food? I’m keen to try new things and like to taste new dishes. However, I still like to know what I’m eating. I’ve had trouble with sandwiches in the past, particularly due to my distaste of mayonnaise and previous dislike of coleslaw. This certainly limited the range of ‘ready made’ sandwiches I could buy from a shop. However, beware the pre-packaged sandwich as you may be shocked (as I frequently am) by the Unexpected Mustard lurking between meat and bread. Again, not a huge fan of Mustard and I do not appreciate it sneaking into my lunch-time sustenance.
Moving on from lunch, what happens when you eat out? Minted peas make me feel a bit green, but that’s nothing compared to the smell and taste of Basil. Unadvertised Basil I might add. They never list that it’s on dish on the Menu. It’s an added ‘extra’, a ‘bonus’, a ‘surprise’! An unwanted surprise I say, especially when the top layer of your dinner is coated in a green crunchy coating. It takes forever to pick off with a fork. My Carbonara has been sabotaged.
Over the years, I thought I’d grown wise to the ways of the world, and manage to avoid the pitfalls of Unexpected Mustard, Unadvertised Basil – especially with my Mother’s cooking coming into play. I’ve grown fairly accustomed at distinguishing food groups before I eat them. However, yesterday I was shocked by an Surprise Cephalopod.
A Cephalopod is an Octopus. I’ve never eaten Octopus in my life, the idea of Calamari makes me feel a little bit queasy if I’m honest. Yesterday, Mr L and myself were having a wander through the local area and found a lovely little Italian restaurant. Why not try somewhere new? It was very quaint inside, some strange décor but it grew steadily busier over the lunch time and the food was mostly delicious and the service was excellent. I ordered the Linguine Mariana. Seafood medley in tomato sauce. It started off being delicious, very very tasty. However, about three large mouthful in, I unearthed a mini Octopus amongst the pasta. I nearly screamed, but managed to keep it to a yelp of surprise. It did earn me a few curious looks. I stared at the Cephalopod, it stared back, all mini tentacles curled up and suckers on display.
Of course, I did what any sane girl would do, and offer Mr L said Octopus. He was delighted. I thought I was free. Until I found a few stray tentacles at large at various points within the pasta. At this stage, I do have to say that other than the Cephalopod, the food was delicious. But I couldn’t stop shuddering at the memory. I’d nearly eaten that. I still feel a bit sick if I’m honest. It was fairly foolish to expect a ‘medley’ of seafood to just include prawns, which is what I was really expecting. But, either way Mr L is amused and that is worth it.
So people, I urge you. Don’t put surprises in your dinner. Don’t fill your lives with Unexpected Mustard, Surprise Cephalopods and items which remain unadvertised on menu’s. You never know what’s in your linguine.
- My Mortal Fear of Cephalopods (eggasponge.wordpress.com)
- Mustard or Mayo (first50.wordpress.com)
- Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod (laughingsquid.com)
- Sad fate of a rare six-legged octopus – killed and eaten by tourists (thetimes.co.uk)