First Date Food Stories
A crowd-sourced collection of readers’ and writers’ first date food stories.
Many moons ago, before my current boyfriend, a childhood friend asked me out on a date. I wasn’t really into him, but I thought, well, it must have taken guts to ask me out, so let me go meet this friend and who knows, right?!?
We went to a local restaurant in Pretoria.
I ordered a very creamy VERY red pesto linguine pasta – coz #YOLO.
It started off well-enough, until I asked “So, how’s your family?”
Him: Mom died of cancer.
Me: *Oh no*
Him: Big sis also died of cancer.
Me: *Oh god*
Him: Dad is a depressive now, and maybe an alcoholic.
Him: I’m quickly going to the loo.
I used the time to quickly tweet the below…
This is NOT going well :/ #date
I then dumped the red pesto linguine on my shirt and waited for him to come back.
Me: Oh darn it. I’m such a klutz. Well, gotta run, before it stains you know…
Him: Oh…eh…cool…I can take you home, if you want.
Me: Nope no need, I’m an independent woman. Wow, this stain……..
Him: Can I call you?
Me: Nope. This stain…
I ran. The shirt died. RIP.
I started my first first year (I’ve done four of them LOL!) at Fort Hare when I was 15. Before arriving at Fort Hare I was only a homosexual in theory, and not yet in practice (it was the mid-to-late 90s and these freedoms were still too new to be sure of). So I was very naive and coy and bashful – basically I was the annoying sister in a Jane Austen novel. I quickly made friends with someone who became my confidant and the receptacle into which I poured all my thirsty thoughts about the bounty of good-looking men on campus. My new friend also happened to be the star player on the Fort Hare women’s basketball team which meant that she was friends or friendly with every single one of my objects of affection. Each morning her and I would meet for breakfast in the Student Centre which is the the busiest hub on campus. I probably only ever ate all of my breakfast a total of 5 or 6 times the entire two years I spent in Alice. Reason being each morning as I set my tray down on the table and settled down to enjoy my breakfast, my friend would find a reason to call the nearest hottie over to join us at which point I would begin to slowly lose all motor function in my hands and for some reason forget the exact spot where my mouth is located on my face. The result would be me spilling scrambled eggs, tomato bredie (ibisto) and whatever else accompanied that day’s breakfast all over the table, myself and – once – all over the hottie of the day. I think I lost 5kg at the beginning of every semester until I stopped taking breakfast in the Student Centre.
I once went on a date and we banged on his kitchen counter while making poached eggs – and then I started a new job the next week and met his girlfriend.
By Mosa Mahlaba
On that sunny day I walked towards him with my heart pounding in the best kind of way. We locked eyes and on his face was a smile wide and unrestrained reflecting mine. Somewhere in between the two syllables he said to form my name, he quenched seven years’ worth of yearning. Finally a date with him. Gold Reef City was our playground, each long queue a swirly trip through time. The closer we got to the rides anticipation took me over and I wrapped my arm around his, catching his fragrance with every breath. My eyes follow him with surgical precision, his athlete build, nervous nose rub, the tenderness in his eyes. I watch him lick his ice-cream and trying to win me a stuffed prize and love shows me its face. I get the cheese grillers, he gets the Pimms and we sit. As the liquid sunshine passes my lips I look at Love and in his gaze I feel at home. With a rattle of ice crushing into sliced oranges and diced strawberries we toast, to many more special dates.
I’m a Cancerian, so I tend to express my love through food. When falling in love I’ve been known to start baking chocolate crunchies, churning out roasts and just generally, feeding the object of my affections. When my boyfriend and I first started dating, this took on an interesting angle. Because he is Jewish, I decided it would be a good idea to embrace his culture and traditions. For our first Hanukkah together I insisted on making potato latkes from scratch, even though he assured me his mom wouldn’t even go to such trouble. The recipe I found online called for matza flour, which I couldn’t find anywhere at the Sea Point Main Road Checkers. An obscure online article mentioned that one could make one’s OWN matza flour from scratch, by blitzing matza crackers into a powder. I didn’t own a handheld blender, so I figured I could just as easily place the crackers in a plastic bag and give them a couple of good whacks with a rolling pin. I whacked and whacked and whacked, and eventually my efforts yielded something similar to a flour. After hours of sweating in front of Ofer’s shitty mini oven, I turned out a semi-decent batch of misshapen latkes, which we gobbled up with smoked salmon and creme fraiche. I haven’t made them since, but we’re still together four years later. These days, I just make like the rest of Sea Point and buy my latkes from Goldies.
I had been sweet talking a boy for a short while and wanted to consummate the relationship so I invited him over using a line that had worked for me only once before: “Do you want to come to my house and watch Planet Earth?” The trick is that it throws them off and there’s no dialogue in Planet Earth so you never actually have to pay attention. He came over and I cut 4 granadillas in half, put them on a small side plate with those tiny spoons with the crest of Wales or the face of Lady Di on the handle. He ignored the spoons and ate the passion fruit like he was eating a pussy and on the 15th of March we have been together for 4 years. Also I’ve only ever seen that part of Planet Earth where the dolphins beat the ground with their fins making a dust net, catching fish because they’re rendered blind by the mud. GOTCHA.
– Lady $kollie
In early 2011, while dressed as Bruce Springsteen, I shared two litres of Fanta Grape and vodka on the dancefloor of the worst club in Grahamstown with a woman I had just met. Seven years later, we are about to get married.
I went on a date and they brought me a giant latte and the guy told me ‘I mustn’t be embarrassed to drink it front of him’. Lol.
One time a guy took me to a sushi spot for a date. I ordered fashion sandwiches without knowing what kind of sushi they were, but more importantly, what size they were. These came to the table the size of half a fistful each. Trust, I avoided the fashion sandwiches until the very end and ensured I’d set up a question that can only be answered in a long-winded kind of way in order to occupy the time it took me to eat each massive piece. I had to open my mouth really wide in order to accommodate one. I couldn’t close my mouth to chew, so even though I had a serviette in front of my mouth, soy sauce was spattering onto the serviette and dripping down my chin, giving away the details of my troubles. At this point we were unable to pretend there was no awkwardness surrounding this moment, so my date stopped answering my question to suggest I bite the next fashion sandwich in half and eat it that way. I tried but I wasn’t able to bite the nori clean in half and so the remaining bits of sushi ended up falling out of my chopstick grip and all over the table. I gave up on the rest of the fashion sandwiches after that. It was a first date, but luckily we’d been mates before that so the awkwardness lifted soon after I stopped eating.
Nitesh and I were friends for a couple of months at University before he started asking me to meet him outside class. It began with hanging out on campus when classes were cancelled. I wasn’t really aware that he liked me because I came from a co-educational system and I was very used to hanging out with guys who were nothing but friends. So, I never saw it as Nitesh “asking me out on a date”, it felt more like making a new friend in a new country.
Our on-campus hangouts started turning into unromantic late night chats on BBM. We used to also have a lot of arguments but I can’t remember what they were about. One night we got into a heated argument about something and he said, “Okay, let’s talk about this tomorrow. I will pick you up and we can go to V&A”. I was still very much irritated with him the next day and decided to catch the bus to the mall to meet him. He asked me if I wanted to eat, and I politely declined. He asked me if I wanted a smoothie, and I politely declined again. He then said, “Well, I want a smoothie, so let me know if you change your mind.” We walked into this little 50s-ish themed cafe and sat at the counter. He ordered a smoothie and I stubbornly stuck to not ordering one for myself. The waiter brought over the smoothie with a straw in it and set it in-between Nitesh and I. He looked at me and put another straw into the glass and simply said, “Enjoy, guys!”
So there we were, two friends with one smoothie and two straws. I was convinced the waiter was wrong in assuming that we were on a date until Nitesh gently pushed the smoothie toward me. I can never forget the chill of embarrassment that ran down my spine that second. I was like, “Shit, is this a date?”. The conversation from that point on just went south. I was so quiet while he blabbed about something I wasn’t paying attention to. I think I mentioned how expensive Vodacom data is just because I had to say something.
We’ve now been together for four and a half years and are still very much into smoothies.
My brother-in-law went for an amazing first date dinner and everything was going perfectly until he farted out loud in the lift as they were leaving the restaurant. They’re now married with two kids.
Never stunt on Italian Kisses when you’re lactose intolerant.
Green Market Square, 2007. My first year in Cape Town
I walked past him . We both turned at the same time.
He was cabin crew for a foreign airline. I was young and wore a size 28 Levis.
He bought me a Kauai Princess Wrap.
And the next minute I was at his apartment, and he was on top of me.
Years have passed and many lessons have been learnt. One in particular:
I’ll be fucking dammed to hell if I ever give up the gaddam goods for a fucking Princess Wrap ever again. Fuck.