Italian cuisine may be known the 'food of love', but it's just been chosen as the least romantic menu choice.
Despite spaghetti's romantic image (who can forget the cuteness of Lady and the Tramp tucking into the dish?), it's been voted by Britons as the worst food to eat on a first date, in a survey commissioned by Food Network UK. We imagine it's because of spag bol's extreme messiness - despite our attempts to master fork-twiddling, the sauce always ends up all over our lap.
The research also revealed that our menu choices make a big impression on our fellow diners, with 35% saying an exotic dish would lead them to think their date was a more 'interesting person'.
As much as we'd like to think we're above such food-readings, we have been guilty of menu-judgement in the past (she's only getting a salad?! In a Burger joint?!), so the findings are interesting - if a little predictable, with sloppy, smelly and difficult to eat foods all making the list. Although we'd be impressed if our date ordered Oysters and Raw Steak - both are delicious.
So if you are planning on going on a date anytime soon, here are the offending menu choices:
1. Spaghetti Bolognese
Sloppy and destined for spillage, spaghetti is notoriously tricky to eat elegantly.
2. Spare Ribs
Sticky greasy ribs obviously don't conjure up romance - and require a bib.
A love/hate foodstuff that's smothered in garlic - we're not surprised this made the list.
4. Raw steak
Now we love Steak Tartare - vegetarians don't.
The slurping, the fishy scent - but aren't Oysters supposed to be an aphrodisiac?
6. Garlic bread
Garlic breath. Enough said.
7. Baked beans
Unless you're a student or chose a Greasy Spoon/Brunch spot for your date, probably not the most sophisticated of choices.
8. Spaghetti Carbonara
Creamy and rich, but very, very messy.
Must be the slurp factor.
Not sure about this one - is it the fishiness?
So if you can't eat any of these, what will impress your fellow diner? Apparently Seafood was a winning choice overall, with lobster and mussels coming up trumps as the food to impress your loved one. They've clearly never seen Woody Allen's infamous Lobster scene in Annie Hall...
What foods do you think are and aren't romantic? Do you judge people by their menu choices? Let us know @StylistMagazine.
Picture credit: Rex Features
For more date-friendly recipes tune-in to Made with Love this Valentine’s Day, 14th February at 2:30 and 8pm on Food Network UK.