by Tiger Lilly
While we were in Spain, I had some … interesting, shall we say, experiences in food.
We went out with a few of Mom and Dad’s friends from their branch of Pueblo Ingles. It’s usual for restaurants in Spain to serve complimentary bread. Bread is good. Bread is very good. One of the people we were out with then ordered a bunch of tapas for us all to try. The first tapa (tapas? I’m not certain what the rules are for grammar concerning that word) was some slab of something I had never seen before. Dad identified it as foie gras. I immediately backed away (I’m a picky eater. Liver is not on my list of palatable foods, not to mention duck liver). Dad ate a piece of it and thought it tasted pretty good.
“You should try it, it doesn’t taste like liver at all. It’s very sweet,” he said.
“No thanks, I’d rather not,” I replied, trying to keep my mouth closed for as long as possible against the doom-food. Dad gave me a look that said, ‘Eat. The food.’
“Mom even had some,” Dad nwheedled. Mom hates liver.
“I really don’t want to.”
“Eat it,” Mom says, plopping some onto my plate. I could have cried. I took a large piece of bread, big enough that I hoped it would block out the taste of the foie gras. I scooped the liver onto the bread and, after a moment of contemplation (i.e.: Is it really worth my life to eat this?), popped it into my mouth. Big mistake. The bread hardly did anything for the taste, which was indeed sweet, but sickeningly so. My stomach was churning as I swallowed the food, and I fought to keep my face straight.
Next they brought tuna. The tuna was delicious. It seriously tasted like chicken. The tomatoes were pretty good, too.
Then they brought heavenly artichokes that had been roasted in butter. The were warm and had a very rich flavor. I ate three or four, they were so yummy. And I don’t usually like artichokes.
Then, another horror. Black beans. In squid ink. With little whole squids. I gave Mom a pleading look, ‘Please, please, please don’t make me eat this.’ My stomach, which had settled down a little, started up again.
“Just one bite. You have to have an opinion about it,” said the lady who was sitting next to me. I looked uncertainly at my plate with the liquidy, black mass of supposedly edible food on it. I closed my eyes, scooped up some, and put it in my mouth. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as the liver, but I still did not like it at all.
Thankfully, that dish was taken away fairly quickly, and then came the best part (in my humble opinion): dessert.
The waiters brought out plates with three desserts on them: flan, chocolate mousse cake, and some fried tube of delicious sweet cream. That made up for the foie gras and squid inked black beans.
So that was my horror/bliss adventure in dining. Ciao for now, TL out.