Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that, unfortunately, can be very stressful. Not only does it force couples to examine the status of their relationships (Are we just hooking up? Or are we finally serious?), but it also forces couples to plan a romantic date on the one night of the year where most restaurants are fully booked. Adding to that stress is the fact that most Italian restaurants are off limits (unless you want to scare your date off with your garlic breath).
Because we care about you, we’ve compiled a list of 20 foods to avoid eating on Valentine’s Day. So, before you lock in those reservations at your favorite grub spot, keep in mind that there are definitely foods that can kill romance faster than you can say “garlic breath”.
We’ll start the list off with the most notorious romance-killing food: garlic. As we stated before, garlic breath can be a total turn-off. Who wants their romantic kiss to be ruined by an odor so strong that it’s famous for scaring off vampires? Take the safer route and opt for a cuisine that’s light on the use of garlic.
Onions are another common food additive that can make one’s breath less than pleasant. We’re not saying that you should avoid these pungent bulbs altogether (they’re practically everywhere), but it might be smart to order the French Onion Soup on a night with less smooching.
Oysters are another entry that makes this list because of their halitosis-inducing effect. Yes, oysters have the reputation of being an aphrodisiac (which would otherwise be perfect for a romantic night), but they have an even bigger reputation for carrying a very strong, very fishy smell. If you still can’t resist slurping down some molluscs with your amor, pack some Listerine strips in your purse just to be safe.
4. Tuna Salad
Traditional tuna salad generally contains the tri-fecta of unromantic smells: onions, tuna fish, and relish. Unless you and your boo have a relationship that can withstand even the strongest of unpleasant orders, be kind to your S.O. and go with a B.L.T.
5. Bean Burritos
As Latinas, we admit that we have a soft spot for burritos. Unfortunately, a burrito packed with beans can make for an uncomfortable (read: gassy) night of indigestion. If you’re planning on spending the whole night with your date, ask the waiter to hold the beans. But if you really need your bean fix, pop a Beano tablet before digging in. Your date will thank you.
6. Marinara Sauce
Just another reason to avoid Italian food on V-day. Yes, marinara sauce is delicious, but it is also a food notorious for ruining outfits. It’s tough to eat spaghetti and meatballs without splashing all over yourself. And walking out of a restaurant looking like a baby who’s just switched to solids isn’t a sexy look.
Although ramen might seem like the perfect choice for a cold February night, its messy noodles earn it a spot on this list. Let’s face it: there’s no pretty way to slurp ramen down. So, if you’re super secure in you and your partner’s relationship, have at it! But if you and your date’s relationship is still in its infantile stages, it’s better to steer clear.
8. Saucy Wings
Not everyone can look like Jessica Simpson when gobbling down a plate of hot wings. Yes, they’re delicious, but sauce-covered wings can be messy. Not to mention, it’s practically a requirement to eat them with your hands, which guarantees you’ll be reaching for, and discarding, napkins all night. Save the wings for football nights with your partner, when everyone will be covered in sauce with you.
Here’s one of the few additions to this list that doesn’t earn a spot due to its smell. Spinach is practically odorless, but its infamous for getting stuck in people’s teeth. Not exactly a sexy look. In fact, it’s best to avoid leafy green veggies in general if you want to preserve a flawless smile for the night.
10. Chili Peppers
Chili peppers are a staple of a lot of Latin food, so this entry might land a little too close to home. The thing is,unless you have an esophagus made of steel, super spicy foods can cause some un-sexy side effects. Chili peppers are known to make their consumer sweat, as well as make their eyes water.
11. Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob can also be one of those foods that gets stuck in your teeth. There’s nothing hot about a smile full of yellow kernels! Avoid at all costs.
We doubt you’ll be tempted to have Thanksigivng in February, but just in case the opportunity arises, remember that turkey is full of tryptophan. And tryptophan has a reputation for making people fall asleep. No one wants to head home early due to sleepiness on a night when you should be up late with your date!
13. Red Wine
This might be a hard one to stick to, but if you’re trying to keep a kissable pout, you might want to avoid red wine. Although its no doubt a romantic drink, unfortunately, red wine has a tendency to stain its drinker’s lips blue or purple. If you know you’ll be imbibing later on, it might be best to invest in a burgundy lipstick to disguise the unwanted color change.
14. Too Much Alcohol in General
If you’re stressed about Valentine’s Day especially, it can be tempting to want to get rowdy in order to calm your nerves. But remember, alcohol lowers the drinker’s inhibitions, and that, in turn, can make you act stupid. Stick to a two drink limit to avoid any booze-fueled mistakes.
15. Brussel Sprouts
Although brussel sprouts, when prepared correctly, are delicious, this trendy veggie can have quite a…fragrant aroma, which can be off-putting to some people. If you’re trying to keep a romantic mood going, avoid this sulfurous cabbage.
16. Strong Cheese
That’s right–we suggest you avoid both stinky cheese and wine if you’re planning a romantic date night. We guess that means a spontaneous trip to Paris is off the table, right? If you must indulge, stick to milder cheeses like mozzarella or brie.
17. Raw Fish
Like all raw animal products, raw fish like sushi can be a hotbed of the salmonella bacteria. Eating raw fish like sushi or sashimi can be a gamble–there’s practically no way to guarantee it’s been prepared properly. You don’t want to end up with a bad case of food poisoning on Valentine’s day!
Veal doesn’t have a strong smell or the tendency to stain your best dress, but it does carry a negative connotation. If you don’t know your Valentine that well, it’s better not to freak them out by ordering roasted baby cow for dinner. Save that for an anniversary dinner (if at all).
We suggest avoiding salad on Valentine’s day for purely arbitrary reasons. Salad is a little boring. It’s Valentine’s day, after all! Say yes to the steak!
20. Cherries or Olives
And finally, we suggest you avoid both cherries and olives. Why? It’s unattractive to be intermittently pausing to spit out tiny pieces of food from your moth. If you have any control over your meal, opt for the pitted versions of these flavorful snacks.
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