There was a time where I didn’t know how to cook. I would burn toast with surprising regularity. Cereal was about as complicated as I ventured. Pasta was a great culinary leap forward.
I remember the first time I had a recipe that called for “scallions.” I had no idea what they were. I went to the seafood department thinking they were some kind of fish, possibly something similar to shrimp, or clams. I was quickly corrected (and mocked). But now I know. Scallions (also called green onions or spring onions) are vegetables similar in flavor to, but milder than, onions. They are green, whiter at the base, about as thick as a pencil. You might recognize them as those thinly sliced things floating in Asian soups.
So in the spirit of preventing others from asking the fishmonger for scallions, I’m starting a series called “What is?”. I’ll use the series to post about different foods and how to store, prepare, clean, and use them to their full potential. This series isn’t really to explain about esoteric and unusual foods–though some of those will be covered too–it’s a tribute to the common ones we overlook. I just want to bring your attention to different areas of the grocery store. If I post something here and you happen to have a good recipe that uses it as an ingredient, please share it. Any new ideas or ways of bringing different foods from the grocery store to our table are very welcome.