Mystery Vegetable

I was reminded of this incident not too long ago in the past by a random conversational comment at work.

I’d gone to the supermarket, and had collected various items into my shopping cart.  Rolled up to the cash register, and got into a line where the cashier was a trainee, a 20-something young male.  He was being assisted by a fellow but experienced employee.

I dutifully had my items scanned, until the gent in question came to one bag of veggies without a label.

Yes, our supermarket has recently expanded into all manners of obscure and esoteric veggies, some of which I can’t recognize myself.  The young man lifted up my bag of one type of vegetable, examined it quizzically, then turned to the trainer, a puzzled frown on his face.

“What’s this???”

“Asparagus.”  I was too stunned at my end to respond, the trainer responded.

Asparagus.  How can  you not recognize asparagus?   Where have you been all your life?    What vegetables did you grow up eating, or at least being exposed to in your family?

In retrospect, I think he must have washed out.  I haven’t seen him at the supermarket since.   This was probably all too much for him.  I simply wonder why this happens, however.


About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: Building a log home in rural western Massachusetts. Will be raising chickens and goats/sheep. Raising veggies and going solar.
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3 Responses to Mystery Vegetable

  1. Ben Smith says:

    Why didn’t I find this post earlier? Keep up the good work!

  2. Incredible isn’t it – how few know their veggies and we aren’t even talking about some obscure types like kangkong (chinese watercress) ! 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    • Yes, agreed! I can see not knowing names for veggies if they are hardly ever found in one’s area (including the supermarket in one’s area), but that one left me speechless.

      I’ve seen the Chinese watercress (without knowing its Chinese name) in our local Asian market, and I admit I’m not sure if there are other ways of using it in food compared, say, to the watercress variant more common here in New England.

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