Until very recently I had only eaten beets once in my life. I was eight years old and decided to try the salad bar in the lunch line. I'm pretty sure the only reason for this was because there were three people in line for salad and at least fifty in line for hot lunch and I wanted to get my food as fast as possible so I could go to recess. I in no way wanted anything to do with healthy food or vegetables.
So I was very excited to see what I thought was slices of canned cranberry sauce. My mom always made cranberry sauce with whole tart berries and what I thought was not nearly enough sugar, but I'd had canned cranberry sauce at a friend's house and thought it was almost as good as candy. I piled my plate high with the costumed cranberry sauce. But when I took my first bite my mouth was not filled with the sweet flavor of cranberry but with an unexpected bitterness.
It wasn't until I moved to Philadelphia and started trying to eat locally grown and seasonal fruits and vegetables (a major challenge in the winter months) that I had the courage to try beets again. The vegetable selection at the local farmers market was starting to get very limited: there were greenhouse grown mixed salads and the carrots, apples, and potatoes were starting to look tired and wilted after being stored for months. I was dying for a little variety.
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