A revolting meal – un pasto rivoltante

People are funny when it comes to food. Some people are extremely fussy about what they will eat, while others will try anything. Growing up, my five older sisters and I were expected to eat EVERYTHING on our plates. Refusing to eat something was NOT an option. When my Mom served something particularly odious, like steamed cabbage, I had to wash it down with several glasses of milk. Kids today are catered to. I know of several children who dictate to their parents what they will and will not eat (and in one case, even WHAT TIME they will eat).

Thanks to my parents’ insistent training, I will eat most anything now, although I can do without brussel sprouts or eggplant. However, I once had a VERY challenging food experience that I’ll always remember.

It was back in 2004 when my wife and I visited our youngest son who was stationed at Aviano, Italy at the time. We hadn’t seen our son since he enlisted in the Air Force in 2001 and it was our first trip to Europe, so we were excited. While in Italy, we all took a couple of side trips via train to Venice and to Rome. Both cities were amazing to see.

While we were in Rome, we stopped at a nice restaurant for lunch. The menu was entirely in Italian so the three of us felt a little helpless. However, I did spot an entrée on the menu to the effect of “something-linguine-something-calamaro-something.” Hmm, I certainly liked fried calamari. OK, I’ll have me some of that linguine and squid, I confidently told the secretly-amused waiter. As I remember it, my wife and son spotted pizza on the menu and settled for that. Cowards! Twenty-minutes later, the server brought out our plates. What?!?!? Sitting in front of me was a plate full of linguine covered in some kind of DISGUSTING-looking black sauce. It turned out the dish was linguine and squid served in a sauce made with the squid’s own jet-black ink (see photo for example). Yuch! Well, I ordered it, so I ate it. It actually didn’t taste all that bad, but the sight of it and the idea of eating squid ink just revolted me. It was a meal that I will always remember.

What was the most alarming thing you ever ate?

Well, all things work together for good and eating the linguine in black squid ink sauce helped me better appreciate “normal” food. Thank you, Lord, for taking care of us and providing for us!

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:31-33

Postscript I: Writing this post reminded me of another challenging dish, which I learned about and tried when I was researching my Polish heritage. We’ll visit that one another time.

Postscript II: You can blame this post and the queasy feeling in your stomach on brother Slim Jim at The Domain for Truth who somehow motivated me into revisiting this black memory.

30 thoughts on “A revolting meal – un pasto rivoltante

  1. It was Apicius, the first Century gourmand, who said that we first eat with our eyes. So true ! And not many foods are black , hence the appearance of the pasta.
    I am also an adventuresome eater – there is such a variety of food God has created. Yesterday I was in food ecstasy eating a perfectly ripe Bosc pear that had arrived
    to our rugged isle from South Africa ! We rural Newfoundlanders are becoming increasingly gourmet diners.
    I am happy you and your wife enjoyed your trip to Italy. And congratulations to your son who served his country in the Air Force.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the good comments, Sally! Yes, we are also blessed to have a wide selection of fruits and vegetables year round. Of course, the local crops are coming in now and they are a real treat.

      RE: Air Force son

      Thank for the kind words! He’s since traveled all over and even been stationed in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times, which was unsettling for us even though he was in a support role. But for the last few years he’s been stationed down in Texas as an instructor. I think he has about two more years and then he’ll be “retiring” from the AF and moving back up here (we hope).

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie! Since your family was military I take it your experience was similar to mine, but even stricter! Many kids today tell their parents when to jump and how high.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. They tried to get me to try traditional “suck-the-heads-out” crawfish in Louisana, but I couldn’t do that. Went with safer shrimp! 🙂 I think my most unusual dish was fried gator tail. It was delicious in the restaurant, but I don’t think I would try that at home. I’ve seen that black ink stuff on Master Chef. Kinda gross!

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    1. Thanks Hope! I had gator nuggets down in Florida. Tasted like chicken! Speaking of sucking heads, one of the grossest food videos I’ve seen was a guy sucking the brains out of cooked muskrat.

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    1. Well, I’ve heard of chitlins via television but didn’t know what they were, had to google them. Yech! Double yech! Our Mom spared us from having to eat any kind of organ meat. She would hoard the chicken and turkey organ meats that came with the birds for herself!

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      1. Sounds extremely unappealing to me. My wife would occasionally fry up some calf’s liver with onions. I would not touch the stuff although I’m very fond of liverwurst/braunschweiger.

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  3. How fun, a trip to Europe! My goodness, you are very brave my friend, I’m not sure I could have eaten it! I think squid ink would also be the most shocking thing I’ve ever tried. Although it was just a light drizzle above a plate of sushi.

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    1. Thanks, sister! We’ve since been to Europe several times because when our son was subsequently stationed in Germany, he married a Fräulein, and they had a son. The marriage fell apart but we’re keeping in touch with our grandson who is now 12. We’re taking another trip there in a couple of weeks.
      Well, it was more because of male pride that I ate that disgusting dish! Yuch, I’m no fan of eating sushi either, although I enjoy slurping raw clams or oysters with a little cocktail sauce.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your memories, Crissy! We consume so many other parts of animals so eating squid ink shouldn’t logically be such a stumbling block, BUT the appearance was shockingly revolting.

      Liked by 1 person

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