Once upon a time, when The Girl was young, she would only eat foods that were white. This is no longer the case, but sometimes a food’s color will put her off a little. The Girl insists it’s only natural (after all, over- or under-ripe fruit can hurt you, right? she argues) and sometimes she goes out of her way to try new and exotic-seeming foods just to get over the shame of having eaten only white-colored food when she was a child. Sometimes this turns around and bites her on the butt. This is one of those times.
The Guy took The Girl to one of his favorite restaurants in Malta – The Avenue in San Ġiljan. She saw a dish on the menu and was intrigued by the name and ingredients. “Sepia? Squid ink?” she thought; and, based on the name and listed ingredients, assumed it was a garlicky cream sauce with a flavoring of squid ink. “I’ve never had squid ink,” she thought. “I should try something new!”
When the dish came out, she realized she’d made a grave and terrible mistake. The pasta smelled strongly of formaldehyde. It took quite the effort of will for The Girl to put any of this in her mouth, upon which she discovered that it also tasted vaguely of formaldehyde. Like salty formaldehyde. All of her instincts screamed at her to stop eating it. And so The Girl learned something new – she doesn’t like squid ink.
The Guy was incredibly gallant and generous, and swapped plates with The Girl. (Personally, Little Turtle thinks he should have let her stew in her mistake, but The Guy offered… plus, neither The Guy nor Little Turtle has ever smelled formaldehyde or dissected a baby animal for a biology class.) The Guy’s dinner was much more delicious – linguine in a cream sauce with bacon, green onions, and pistachios. Still, even he could stand only a quarter of the starter-sized plate before swapping back. It turned their mouths temporarily black, and when the waitress saw half of it still on the plate, she asked if it was good. The Girl didn’t have the heart to tell the restaurant she couldn’t bring herself to eat it, so she said it was “different.” Then The Guy and The Girl laughed and laughed about it for the rest of the week – as soon as The Girl got over the shock of it all.
The Girl is certain she will never live this down.