I found that I was much more daring with my eating choices while in Italy.
My ex-boyfriend was constantly begging me to try new foods. I constantly refused. I have about five or six restaurants that I like to eat at, and have one or two things at every restaurant that I always order.
“I heard this new restaurant in the city is really good,” he’d say to me.
“Nope, I want to go to Gino’s,” I’d stubbornly respond.
“Why don’t you try this swordfish with capers? It’s delicious,” he’d say, while shoving his fork toward my mouth.
“Nope, I’m good with my chicken franchese,” I’d answer. It drove him crazy.
In Italy, though, I decided that I should be a little more daring. Two of the waiters told us that it would be better if we did not order off of a generic menu.
“Can I make a menu for you, please?,” one Sardinian waiter asked in Italian.
“Sure,” my cousin, Victoria, and I said after a quick conference.
When he said that he was going to “make us a menu,” we didn’t know that he basically meant that he was going to have the chef cook everything in the restaurant.
He came back five minutes later with 4 different kinds of octopus, a dish of mussels, and a shrimp & tomato salad.
“Tor, I don’t like mussels; you can have them all,” I said to my cousin.
“Jen, you have to try this,” she said, chewing one while practically in tears.
After five minutes of my usual fighting and refusal to try something new, I finally gave in. They were so delicious that I decided to try every single thing on the table.
I ate tentacles and gooey pieces of God knows what. I ate escargot (snails) and vegetables I’ve never heard of.
And everything was amazing! Well, maybe I could have done without the escargot. It kind of reminded me of a strange-tasting mushroom. Everything else was mouth (and eye) watering.
After the “first course” was through, the waiter brought us out a giant bowl of Spaghetti with Clam Sauce. We ate that for another twenty minutes.
When we couldn’t finish it, and he was done yelling at us for not being able to finish it, he asked which meat we would like to be served.
“Meat?!” we exclaimed simultaneously in Italian.
We refused for a long time, and only got him to accept our refusal when we agreed to have dessert. We settled on the most famous Sardinian dessert – sebadas. It was really interesting, to say the least.
Sebadas are fried raviolis stuffed with ricotta cheese, and soaked in honey and lemon. I wasn’t too impressed, but it was interesting nonetheless. I would definitely recommend eating it at least once if you go to Sardegna.
Are you a daring eater or a wuss like me? Have you have taken the plunge and eaten something strange because you were in a different country?