Foods to avoid on a first date

We’ve all had those first date dinner dilemmas. Can you eat that meal with a knife and fork? Is it a cuisine that everyone is fond of? Is there a possibility that I’ll be wearing my order by the end of the evening?

Pizza is a good option – you can even eat it using cutlery should you want to. A curry is generally fine, if you don’t order it too hot or dribble the sauce all over your clothes. But what are the foods you should always try to avoid on a first date? The delicious. team advise…

Editor Karen Barnes
Spaghetti vongole. It happens to be one of my favourite things to eat but it’s a) very garlicky so not the best first-date material – unless you’re both eating it; b) almost impossible to eat without flicking some of the juices off the spaghetti and down your front. I speak from experience. Having said that, if you’ve ever watched the scene in Chef, where Jon Favreau cooks garlicky spaghetti for Scarlett Johansson, you’ll know it can be very seductive indeed…

spaghetti

Senior sub editor Sara Norman
Yes, corn on the cob! It’s so messy and sticks in your teeth and the butter rolls down your chin! Not a good look. That was my first date menu choice – eaten while we watched the original Live Aid (yes, showing my age…)!

corn

Digital editor Vic Grimshaw
Burgers. Those ones that are six miles high, dripping with condiments and meat juices. What do you do? Pick it up? Cut it in half? Eat it daintily with a knife and fork? There’s just no polite way to eat one other than in the company of your lifelong friends or safety of your own home.

burger

Digital producer Izzy Brimeau
Sushi. In theory it sounds lovely, a little exotic even. In reality it’s not. Unless you’re ordering 50 mini maki rolls, you’re going to have a plate of don’t-quite-fit-in-your-mouth ‘bites’. So what now? Do you cram the whole thing in your mouth, hold your napkin over your mouth and pray that a piece of rice doesn’t get caught in your throat? Or do you try and daintily bite it in half? Heaven forbid you’ve ordered an inside-out maki roll – there’s no biting those in half. And on top of all that, the potential of soy sauce dripping down your front or wasabi wafting up your nose (cue tears)… What if your date can’t use chopsticks?

sushi

Digital editorial assistant Ellie Donnell
Anything you have to eat with your hands/is ridiculously saucy. No one wants to see you struggle with a mayo-soaked burger as it drips – unbeknownst to you – onto your lap…

Deputy chief sub editor Hugh Thompson
Er, not something I have done but one told to me (at a dinner) by Novak Djokovic.

He had asked out his sweetheart Jelena. He was 18 and despite being a successful young tennis player he had led a fairly sheltered life – tennis every day – so he wasn’t well versed in restaurants menu terminology.

He wanted to impress her so they went to a suitably posh restaurant. At the time he was a meat eater and tried to show what a man of the world he was by ordering for them both. Unfortunately he didn’t know that a steak tartare was raw steak mince. His embarrassment was evident, which Jelena found endearing and they were married 8 years laters.

Food editor Jen Bedloe
On dates, do avoid messy food that gets stuck in your teeth! (So that’s ramen and ribs out of the equation.)
On my first date night with my husband he took me to a smart restaurant recommended to him by a friend. How funny to find the restaurant closed as it only opened for lunch service. We ended up having drinks in a pub round the corner and a fantastic curry on Brick Lane instead. The rest is history.

ribs

Managing editor Les Dunn
This probably isn’t appropriate and cider isn’t food but…

Two cans of Scrumpy Jack cider on the bus are not a good idea when your date, who is very posh, turns down your offer of one so you have to drink them both yourself. Plus, you’ve already had three pints in the pub before you met her. Later on in the date I stole a book, My Struggle by Paul Merton, from the university arts centre, with her watching in disbelief. Don’t ask me why. I think the balance of my mind was disturbed. Later still we sat in the student union bar with me crying about my old girlfriend and her saying “Oh look, your friends are over there. Do you want to go over to them?”

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