Eating Authors: David Tallerman

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David Tallerman

Welcome to the first 2013 March installment of EATING AUTHORS. Now that it’s behind me, I can bitch confess about how difficult February was. March, by comparison, looks to be full of exciting possibilities, forks in the road of life and career, opportunities for personal growth. You know, all that terrifying stuff.

Which is as close as I’m going to get to a segue for this week’s guest, David Tallerman. His novel, Giant Thief — the first in his Tales of Easie Damasco — was described as “one of the finest débuts of 2012.” Its sequel, Crown Thief, serves up another tale, and who doesn’t like a thief-swindler-reluctant hero? And just to be clear, I’m talking about his protagonist, not David. As always, don’t take my word for any of this, go read the books!

LMS: Welcome, David. Care to dig back through your past and share your most memorable meal?

DT: I used to be about the fussiest eater imaginable. I was a vegetarian who didn’t like vegetables; needless to say, that left me with a pretty limited diet. To this day, I consider it a miracle I didn’t die of scurvy. Then, when I finally saw the error of my ways, I went seriously the other way. These days I’ll try just about anything that’s set in front of me, however weird or wonderful.

But everyone has their limits, which brings me to my most memorable meal of recent months. I was staying in Paris with my partner, visiting some good friends of hers for the first time. I was on my best behaviour, trying to be polite. And things were going pretty well until the first course was brought out. Because classic French delicacy they may be, but of the short list of things I’d still draw the line at, snails feature pretty highly.

It isn’t just that eating slimy garden critters is gross – although let’s face it, whatever anyone might tell you to the contrary, it really is. But I have a soft spot for snails. 
They’re one of nature’s crueller practical jokes, saddled with a self-defeating defence system and destined to die in droves every time it rains. Even if they weren’t revolting, snotty little beasties, I still wouldn’t want to eat them.

Giant Thief
Crown Thief
Endangered Weapon B

I looked to my girlfriend for help, or maybe just to try and judge how put out she’d be if it turned my nose up at our host’s carefully prepared starter – and realised she was the only person who didn’t have a plate in front of her.

“Aren’t you having any?”

“Are you serious? I’m not eating snails!” And then, as if that wasn’t enough of a get out already, “You don’t have to have them either if you don’t want.”

There it was … my way out! I hadn’t even had to beg. It was easy. Almost too easy…

Because, my girlfriend really will eat anything; in fact, good luck finding a foodstuff she hasn’t already tried. When would I ever get another opportunity to try something 
she turned her nose up at? After months of having to be impressed by her dietary daring, wasn’t this my one and only opportunity to impress her back?

So, yeah … short story long, I ate snails just to try and show off to my girlfriend. And it sure was memorable, all right. It’s true, you know, they do taste like chicken. Evil chicken. Evil chicken that grew up in a swamp.

I guess that the good thing about trying anything once is that you never have to do it again.

Thanks, David. Now the next time my wife takes me to one of her fou-fou French restaurants and tries to get me to try the escargot, I can just send her to read this week’s blog post.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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