When I was a senior in high school, my friends and I saved up our money to dine at Chez Panisse in Berkeley for the very first time.
We four thought ourselves so grown up and so in the know.
Of course, that feeling of confidence dissipated immediately when the first course arrived.
A platter was set before us, containing mystifying long, tubular things that looked for all the world like overgrown green onions. They had been simply grilled with good olive oil, and finished with salt and pepper. We glanced at one another, perplexed, wondering what they were and just how we were supposed to eat them.
Yes, that was my first encounter with leeks.
And I admit that I didn’t necessarily appreciate them then.